BNB, Perhaps the Best Small Bank in America

It’s becoming a common tale for Bridgehampton National Bank when they deliver a quarterly statement. The message seems to be pretty consistent, and that message is that they are growing and their business is doing well. In an economy where not a single major bank in the United States hasn’t suffered tremendously damaging losses due to poor lending practices, Bridgehampton National Bank has been able to shine, and the story of the bank is continuing to gain attention.

On January 23, Bridgehampton National Bank released its statement for the year ending of 2011. We here at Dan’s Papers like to report the good news, and 2011 offered up some darn good news. [expand]

President and CEO of Bridge Bancorp, Kevin M. O’Connor, was more than happy to deliver his company’s results through a press release. O’Connor explained in the release that, “2011 was a historic year for achievements at Bridgehampton National Bank. We grew our business by successfully completing our first acquisition and expanding relationships with new and existing customers. We strengthened our organization by substantially increasing equity capital, and enhancing our staff and systems infrastructure. We delivered exceptional financial results with record levels of revenues and net income, growth in deposits, loans and reserves, while reducing problem assets. Our execution of these strategic initiatives was accomplished despite the challenging economic and regulatory environment. We believe a strong, well-capitalized balance sheet, funded by core branch deposits is the key to successfully fulfilling our mission to be the community bank for the communities we serve.”

So what’s a bank with Bridgehampton roots really doing right? In the simplest of terms, they are doing banking right. They are taking deposits, and lending out that money to credible businesses and individuals and earning interest on those loans. And they are doing this VERY effectively. In a time when lending went absolutely out of control, Bridgehampton National Bank, like a few other shining stars in the banking world, didn’t make those poor loans, and thusly, more customers are attracted and comfortable with keeping their money with BNB, bringing more customers to the bank, and in effect more revenue and asset growth. Total assets for the bank were pegged at $1.34 billion in December of 2011. This is $309 million higher than the same period the year before, which is an average assets increase of 22%.

O’Connor further explained, “The revenue growth is directly attributable to the increasing scale of our successful community bank. We’ve added core deposits and have identified, underwritten and funded new loans providing credit for our communities. These revenues offset the higher costs associated with expansion, compliance and credit, generating increases in our net income and earnings per share. Our substantial growth and the post-crisis regulatory mandate for higher capital levels for all banks, created certain dynamics we have been addressing during 2011. In the current quarter, the 1.4 million share common equity offering added $23.5 million in net new capital. Additionally, during 2011 we raised $4.6 million through our previously announced Dividend Reinvestment Plan (the “DRP”). As a historically “well capitalized” bank, the new equity capital significantly improved all relevant capital ratios, and is critical to maintaining our positive momentum. In the near term, certain measures of profitability will be impacted, by the higher equity and increased share count, as we conservatively deploy these proceeds. Long term we believe a strong, fortified balance sheet will, provide the platform for the continued execution of our community banking business strategy.”

Read more from David Rattiner on his blog, Dan’s Daily.

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