First Bank Corp. loans and leases break $1 billion in 2016, area banks up 3%

by Aric Mitchell (aric.mitchell@gmail.com) 620 views 

The top six banks in market share of the Fort Smith metro region reported an uptick in average total loans and leases for 2016 of 3.03%, hitting $103.695 billion for the year compared to $100.642 billion in 2015, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

The number is not specific to the Fort Smith region as some of the top six — Arvest (No. 2), BancorpSouth (No. 3), and Regions (No. 6) have multiple presences across the U.S. and do not break down publicly available numbers by region.

For a more microscopic look at regional banking activities, Fort Smith-based First National Bank of Fort Smith (No. 1) and Van Buren-based Citizens’ Bank & Trust (No. 4) – each a part of the holding company First Bank Corp. – paint the picture of a more confident regional banking sector. The two entities reported a combined total of $1.025 billion in average total loans and leases for 2016, an increase of 4.89% from the combined total of $977.368 million in 2015.

First National Bank of Fort Smith (FNB/FS) loaned $798.052 million in 2016, up 4.82% from $761.356 million in 2015. Net income reached $16.924 million, its highest point since at least 2012 and a 2% upgrade from the previous year with a return on assets (ROA) of 1.37%. (Banks are highly leveraged, so when calculating ROA, 1% indicates significant profits.)

Net credit losses were in the negatives – a good thing when discussing charge-offs – ending at a loss of $984,000 compared to last year’s loss of $1.231 million. Unpaid loans finished at $20.002 million, down 14.65% from $22.93 million in 2015. Of the 2016 total, $15.276 million were in total non-current loans with an additional $4.726 million 30-89 days past due. Reported foreclosures finished at 0 compared to 2015’s $182,000.

Citizens likewise reported strong numbers with total loans and leases of $227.245 million, up 5.2% from 2015’s $216.012 million. Net income tallied $5.682 million, a drop of 8.2% from $6.191 million in 2015, but it was still enough to produce an even stronger ROA than its larger cousin at 1.49%. However, this ratio was down from 2015’s ROA of 1.67%. Charge-offs ended the year a little worse-for-wear at $99,000 compared to 2015’s loss of $294,000. Unpaid loans finished at $4.375 million, up 1.85% from 2015’s $4.296 million. Foreclosures also ended the year at 0, an improvement from 2015’s $98,000 and a significant upgrade from 2012 and 2013 totals of $3.736 million and $1.489 million, respectively.

Together, First National Bank of Fort Smith and Citizens Bank & Trust reported average total assets for 2016 of $1.618 billion compared to $1.587 billion in 2015, an increase of 2%. Approximately $1.238 billion in assets fall on the FNB/FS side with Citizens taking the other $380.428 million. First National was up 1.85% from 2015’s $1.216 billion, while Citizens rose 2.46% from 2015’s $371.28 million.

Greenwood, Ark.-based Farmers Bank — the only other bank headquartered in the state to be in the top 10 of market share for the Fort Smith metro (3.5%) — reported a softer overall performance with average total loans and leases for 2016 in the amount of $89.903 million. This number was up 13.4% from 2015’s $79.308 million. Net income tallied $1.29 million, an increase of 1.8% from $1.268 million in 2015. Farmers’ ROA finished well under the 1% benchmark at 0.64%, which was unchanged from 2015. Charge-offs fell to $69,000 compared to 2015’s $289,000. Unpaid loans finished at $3.969 million, up 37.3% from 2015’s $2.892 million. Foreclosures eased to $1.634 million, a small improvement from 2015’s $1.822 million and down 31.34% from 2012’s $2.38 million. Average total assets finished up at $200.138 million, an increase from 2015’s $198.549 million of 0.8%.

BEST OF THE REST
Arvest Bank, headquartered in Northwest Arkansas, has locations in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. The company does not report to the FDIC by region, so Fort Smith metro-specific numbers were not available, though as of June 30, 2016, it held the No. 2 market share position in the regional economy with 19.29% of all deposits. This figure falls just behind FNB/FS’s 20.84%. Looking at the whole, the company reported total loans and leases of $9.404 billion, up 6.7% from 2015’s $8.815 billion.

Net income tallied $102.678 million, an increase of 54.73% from $66.359 million in 2015, but it was not enough to push the ROA to 1% with a final return on assets of 0.62%. However, this ratio was an increase from 2015’s ROA of 0.42%. Charge-offs ended the year slightly worse off at $17.829 million compared to 2015’s $17.714 million. Unpaid loans finished at $160.256 million, up 20.9% from 2015’s $132.597 million tally. Foreclosures ended the year at $19.253 million, an improvement from 2015’s $23.647 million and a continued improvement since 2012’s $91.648 million. Average total assets finished up at $16.536 billion, an increase from 2015’s $15.617 billion of 5.9%.

BancorpSouth out of Tupelo, Miss., has locations in Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana, and Texas. As of June 30, 2016, it was the No. 3 leading depositor in the Fort Smith region with 11.3% market share. Like Arvest, the company does not report to the FDIC by region, so Fort Smith metro-specific numbers were not available. Looking at the whole, the company reported average total loans and leases of $10.781 billion, up 5.9% from 2015’s $10.181 billion. Net income tallied $137.682 million, an increase of 4.3% from $132.006 million in 2015, but it was not enough to push the ROA to 1% with a final return on assets of 0.97%. The ratio was a slight decrease from 2015’s ROA of 0.98%. Charge-offs ended the year up at $6.722 million compared to 2015’s $2.985 million. Unpaid loans finished at $103.603 million, down 5.54% from 2015’s $109.677 million tally. Foreclosures ended the year at $7.81 million, an improvement from 2015’s $14.759 million and a continued improvement since 2012’s $103.248 million. Average total assets finished up at $14.179 billion, an increase from 2015’s $13.535 billion of 4.76%.

Muskogee, Okla.-based Armstrong Bank, which as of June 30, 2016 holds No. 5 market share in the Fort Smith metro at 6.69% of deposits, reported 2016 average total loans and leases of $672.397 million, up 11.12% from 2015’s $605.053 million. The parent company of Armstrong Bank in early 2015 acquired then Fort Smith-based Benefit Bank.

The net income tallied $19.489 million, an increase of 13.5% from $17.165 million in 2015. Armstrong’s return on assets obliterated the 1% benchmark, finishing at 2.23%, which was an improvement from 2.15% in 2015. However, charge-offs leapt to $3.098 million compared to 2015’s $772,000. Unpaid loans finished at $24.877 million, down 14.77% from 2015’s $29.187 million. Foreclosures ended the year at $1.349 million, a slight improvement from 2015’s $1.414 million and down close to 65% from 2012’s $3.999 million. Average total assets finished up at $874.274 million, an increase from 2015’s $797.883 million of 9.57%.

Regions Bank — headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., with a presence in 16 states across the U.S. including Arkansas — held the No. 6 market share position in the Fort Smith metro as of June 30, 2016, with 5.04% of deposits.

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