Bangor Savings Bank had a big year in 2018, bringing in record-breaking earnings, acquiring a New Hampshire bank and completing the construction of a new campus on the Bangor waterfront, where about 400 people now work.
At the end of March, the bank closed its fiscal year with a net income of $33.16 million, which was the highest amount it has ever recorded and up 38 percent from the previous year, according to figures released by the company this week.
Bangor Savings Bank also narrowly became the largest Maine-based bank last year, with the acquisition of Granite Bank in New Hampshire helping to grow its total assets by 17 percent, from $3.8 billion in March 2018 to $4.45 billion a year later, according to its annual report.
That topped its average asset growth of around 7 percent in the last five or six years, according to President and CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice.
It also just pushed Bangor Savings Bank past Camden National Bank, which previously was the largest Maine-based bank. Camden National Bank also reported a record-breaking net income last year of $53.1 million, a spokeswoman said, though it started this fiscal year with $4.42 billion in assets — about $24 million behind Bangor Savings.
“This last year was a very strong year,” Montgomery-Rice said.
Bangor Savings’ record earnings were driven in large part by its acquisition of Granite Bank, according to the president, but also from the organic growth of its regular services.
While Bangor Savings Bank does not plan any other acquisitions in the short term, it is budgeting for its assets to grow 5 to 7 percent this year, Montgomery-Rice said.
It’s also anticipating additional growth of its physical footprint in Bangor, having purchased two other properties next to its waterfront campus to eventually accommodate more staff.
One of those is an office building at 36 Pleasant Street that used to house the accounting firm BerryDunn and is next to its new corporate headquarters overlooking the Penobscot River.
The other is a lot on Main Street directly across from its new office building and parking garage. The bank tore down a building that had been standing on the lot at 317 Main Street, at the intersection of Main Street and Davis Court.
Montgomery-Rice said the company has reinvested some of its increased earnings into information security measures and improvements at its new facilities. It also boosted its charitable giving last year.