BANGOR, Maine — Bangor Savings Bank saw its 13th straight year of increased earnings in the last fiscal year, raking in $20.5 million in net income.
That represents a more than 8 percent increase over the banner growth it saw in the previous year.
Maine’s largest independent bank was scheduled to hold its 162nd annual meeting Monday afternoon, and president and CEO Jim Conlon trumpeted the growth of the company, especially considering the challenging financial climate of recent years, during a late-morning interview with the BDN.
In the latest fiscal year, the bank’s total loan production approached $682 million — $249 million of that in home loans, $175 million in consumer loans and $257 million in business loans, according to Conlon. Commercial and small business loans grew by $78 million, or more than 8 percent.
“We want to help as many Mainers as we can realize their dreams of owning a home or starting a small business,” Conlon said. “To that end, Bangor Savings Bank has been, once again, named the top lender for first-time homebuyers by the Maine State Housing Authority and the top lender to Maine small businesses by the Small Business Administration.”
The bank has been recognized as Maine’s top lender for six consecutive years by Maine State Housing Authority and three straight years by the SBA.
During the last fiscal year, 27,000 new core deposit accounts, including 3,000 business accounts, were added to the bank’s portfolio.
Those sorts of statistics are encouraging indicators for the state, according to Conlon, as bank investments can be a good barometer of how the economy is performing. As people begin to buy cars and homes and focus on building their savings, banks are among the first to take notice.
Conlon, who expects to retire next summer, also stressed the importance of technology in the bank’s future. Bangor Savings launched a mobile banking app this year to allow people to manage their accounts on the run. Customer demand for ease of access, however, doesn’t lessen their demand for solid service from the company’s 720 employees across the state.
These 13 years of growth haven’t been without challenges, with a faltering, stagnant or, at best, fragile economy prevailing over much of that time, Conlon said.
Bangor Savings Bank has tried to spread its wings in Maine by opening new branches, especially in southern Maine, where there are enough population centers and high enough incomes to ensure success, Conlon said.
The successes of those new branches in southern parts of the state also help support several branches in more rural parts of the state that might otherwise struggle, Conlon said. The company has built up $200 million in deposits in the Portland area alone, he added.
In all, Bangor Savings Bank has 57 branches serving more than 100,000 customers statewide. The company has more than $3 billion in assets.