Bridge Bancorp, Inc., the parent company of Bridgehampton National Bank (BNB), released its Second Quarter 2013 results and they are outstanding. This is not only due to BNB’s sound banking principles and practices, but in no small part because of BNB’s commitment to the community it serves.
Just to get some basic numbers out of the way, BNB had a net income of $3.3 million and $.36 per share, a 6% increase in net income over 2012, with returns on average assets and equity of .79% and 10.74%, respectively. They had a net interest income of $12.3 million, an increase of $.5 million over 2012, with a net interest margin of 3.23%. BNB’s total assets of $1.73 billion at June 2013 were 23% higher than June 2012 and shareholders enjoyed a declared quarterly dividend of $.23 per share in July 2013.
All very impressive indeed, but there are two other numbers equally impressive that I believe reflects BNB’s commitment to the communities of the East End. Many economists have suggested that the slow pace of our economic recovery is due to the lack of willingness of banks to lend, particularly to small businesses and start-ups. Rather disheartening considering the number of banks that accepted tax payer supported bailouts when many of them sat on the precipice of failure due to their own bad practices.
That said BNB, which did not take a dime of bailout money, reported loans that exceeded $900 million, a growth of $222 million or 33%, compared to June 2012. No doubt some of that money was lent to small businesses, builders and start-ups resulting in new hiring and investment in the East End. Clearly BNB’s willingness to lend has been rewarded by its customers, as the bank reported deposits of $1.46 billion, an 18% increase compared to the second quarter of 2012.
Prudence is still clearly necessary as Bridge Bancorp Inc. President and CEO Kevin M. O’Connor noted, “In June 2012, we believed it prudent to protect against developing negative macroeconomic trends. Since then, we have seen continued improvement in the domestic economy driven by job creation and rising home values along with gains in global stock markets. These factors, coupled with a stronger local economy, have resulted in lower credit costs and improved our outlook. We do, however, continue to carefully monitor economic trends as the recovery remains tenuous.”
Prudence aside, BNB’s good neighbor and community involvement is another factor in the bank’s continued strong growth. BNB’s grassroots commitment to the East End has always been steadfast and enduring. A most recent example is the bank’s commitment to All For The East End (AFTEE). BNB is the major corporate sponsor of this initiative to create and consolidate not-for-profit funding for non-profit agencies and service organizations that exclusively serve the five towns of the East End. AFTEE’s first major fundraising event will be the highly anticipated Nile Rodgers Dance Party at Martha Clara Vineyards which is expected to draw tens of thousands of supports and generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for AFTEE. (Hamptons.com is proud to be a media sponsor of this seminal event that will undoubtedly change the face of charitable giving on the East End.)
BNB’s strong growth and good practices has also resulted in the bank’s expanded footprint not only in the East End, but Up-Island as well. Recently a new branch opened on Shelter Island, there is a loan office opening soon in Riverhead and a Bay Shore location is expected to open by year’s end.
“The expansion of our footprint coupled with a continued commitment to our traditional markets, has allowed us to capitalize on the movement of consumers and businesses to “shop local.” For our organization, this has been a key driver of growth, as community banks are the local alternative to regional and national banks. Our ability to deliver superior service and local decision making has been central to our growth and strong financial returns,” noted Mr. O’Connor.
Shop local indeed…bank local as well! Particularly with local banks like BNB that are invested in and committed to the communities they serve.