Business Outlook 2012: Cortland Banks announces new mortgage business subsidiary, Investor Relations initiative

January 27, 2012
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Although 2011 year-end earnings results were not available for this report, Cortland Bancorp President and CEO James Gasior notes that the Management Team for the Company and for the banking subsidiary, Cortland Banks, has executed its business strategies according to plan and is in line to meet many of its financial and operational objectives. In posting net income of $3.24 million through the nine month period ended September 30, 2011, Cortland Bancorp exceeded net income of $2.24 million results for the same period in 2010 and has practically matched the $3.27 million in net income reported for the entire 2010 annual period.  Through the third quarterly period of 2011, the Company reported that financial results remain in line with many of the performance targets established in its annual business profit plan. Profitability measures for Return on Assets, Return on Equity, Net Interest Margin and Efficiency all report favorably in comparison to both internal and actual performance measures reported by banks in the Company’s peer group.  Asset quality measures are also in line with target performance measures and reflect much better performance than other banks in its peer group.

Amid more rigorous regulatory standards and an uncertain economy, which has begun to show signs of stabilizing, Gasior notes the Company will continue to follow its core strategic direction.  “We are committed to growing loans and deposits in our local markets and producing consistent positive earnings results.” Gasior states that tangible loan portfolio growth was more than 8.40% in 2011 with the commercial portfolio achieving a 17% growth rate.  The Company will continue to focus on developing commercial banking and community banking relationships in 2012 and will draw upon the expertise of Chief Lending Officer Stan Feret, along with an experienced lending staff to enhance the Bank’s position as a leader in providing business and finance solutions.

As rates remain at historical lows with no significant rate increases expected during 2012, strategic initiatives aimed at income diversification have become increasingly more important to meet profit objectives. In 2011, with the intent to enhance noninterest revenue, the Bank has started a new wholesale lending division.  Employees in the wholesale lending area will partner with mortgage brokers in contiguous states to originate mortgage loans.  The loans will be sold to investors in the secondary market generating a profit margin.  With historic mortgage rates predicted to remain low, robust activity is expected. The Company will operate the wholesale lending activities through its newly created business unit – CSB Mortgage Company, Inc.    

The Investor Relations/Stock Navigation Program, a relationship-based initiative, which commenced in 2011, will continue to be cultivated through program enhancements in 2012 including a new web-based system which will facilitate the identification of prospective shareholders and will assist in linking our Bank to our banking communities.  “This system is expected to be an integral component to the Investor Relations Program and will assist the Company in meeting its growth, capital and relationship management goals,” states Gasior.

Relative to product initiatives, the Bank remains committed to information systems and advancements in technology.  In recent years the Bank has introduced remote capture, mobile banking and eStatements and will continue to offer the most recent technologies in efforts to provide its customers with fast, convenient and user-friendly products.   In 2012, the Bank plans to launch its own iPhone and Android Apps for mobile banking, providing additional conveniences for its customers.   

In addition to providing funding for a number of high profile community projects initiated in 2011, Cortland Banks continues to participate and support an array of community programs including Second Harvest Food Bank, The American Cancer Society and Junior Achievement. The Bank will expand its presence in its communities when employees visit local schools to present fun, captivating financial literacy curriculum. As a related initiative for 2012, the Bank is introducing its Strong Saver children’s passbook savings account with rewards. The focus is to promote financial principles to the youth of our communities.

Later this year the Bank will feature customers and members of our communities who nominate a child who exemplifies strength through acts of kindness, gracious giving of time or talents, or who has overcome health or other obstacles, through its Strong Saver campaign. More information can be found at www.cortland-banks.com/strongsaver.

 
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FOR MORE INFORMATION                        
Please Contact Cortland Banks                                                                                                      
Sara A. Smith
Marketing & Communications Director                                                                                              
330-637-8040 x132                                                                                                             ssmith@cortland-banks.com         
Member FDIC
Equal Housing Lender
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