Banks report stellar growth in income, assets, deposits

Banks in the Golden Crescent are benefiting from an extraordinary economic boom in North Carolina, and their first nine months reflect exceptional growth in and around Charlotte.



Harry Davis, the chief economist for the North Carolina Bankers Association, says loan growth nationwide is running about 2 percent per year. In North Carolina, it’s running at 8 percent.

“The point is that North Carolina is a better market for community banks than other states,” he says, pointing out that community banks don’t have branches in other states.

Indeed, the local banks’ results show good growth in loan demand. Total gross loans at Mooresville-based blueharbor bank were up almost 10 percent year over year as of Sept. 30.

Of course, demand for what banks do—lend money—drives same to the bottom line.

Third-quarter net income at Uwharrie was $561,000, vs. $399,000 during the same period in 2014, a 40.60 percent improvement. The Uwharrie board declared a 2 percent stock dividend to be paid Nov. 19. Third-quarter net income at Aquesta rose almost 10 percent to $507,000 compared to year ago net income of $462,000 during the same year-ago quarter.

While third-quarter net fell at blueharbor bank—$310,775 this year vs. $352,675 last year—the board voted to invest in the bank by agreeing to buy back $400,000 of common stock during the coming year. The repurchase represents 2.4 percent of the outstanding shares.



“We have experienced our best quarter of the year in several regards in an environment that is tepid at best for quality loan and deposit growth,” blueharbor CEO Jim Marshall said. Total assets at blueharbor increased 12.3 percent during the first nine months to $152.1 million. Loan and deposit growth has been solid relative to blueharbor’s peers. Gross loans have increased 8.7 percent to $122.0 million; total deposits rose 18.8 percent to $127.2 million.

North Carolina has one of the highest in-migration rates in the United States, attributable to “halfbacks” moving from their retirement homes in Florida halfway back to their homes up North and big corporations moving headquarters and other operations here from other states. About 55 percent of the new jobs created in North Carolina post-recession have been in Raleigh and Charlotte.

Aquesta held its grand opening in October for its first branch in Charlotte, a former Certus office in SouthPark. For the third quarter, net income rose just under 10 percent to $507,000 compared to $462,000 during the third quarter of 2014.

The current quarter included about $84,000 of one-time expenses net of tax relating to the Certus branch and one-time insurance agency items.  Adjusted for these, net income increased year over year by about 28 percent.

Uwharrie has also opened a Charlotte office at 141 Providence Road with three lines of business: Residential mortgage lending, commercial lending and wealth management services. Uwharried hired Charles Myers, the former president and owner of Myers Park Mortgage, as president of Uwharrie Bank Mortgage.

“The Charlotte/Mecklenburg market is a natural progression for our company considering the bank’s current footprint in Anson, Stanly and Cabarrus counties,” said Roger Dick, president & CEO of Uwharrie Capital Corp, parent of Uwharrie Bank.

Davis said the economy since the Great Recession has grown at about the rate of 2 percent a year. “This year will be a little faster than that, but not very much,” Davis says, explaining that it seems next to impossible to get growth back in the 3.5 percent range anytime soon. “I don’t expect any downward movement in the economy in the next 12 months; I don’t expect any change one way the other.”


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