I am pleased to report that we had another successful year at Franklin Savings Bank. Our friendly, knowledgeable staff continues to distinguish Franklin Savings Bank from our competitors. Our employees know our customers and truly enjoy helping them with ther financial needs. They are also involved in their communities, volunteering their time to make our towns better places to live, work and play. Additionally, Franklin Savings Bank and our Community Development Foundation contributed $142,000 to various non-profit, economic development, and educational efforts in 2014.
All signs indicate that 2014 was a year of positive transition from a struggling economy. On the national level, the Federal Reserve Board of Governors halted their purchase of agency debt and mortgage backed securities, indicating an improving housing market and positive progress towards its objectives for inflation and employment. There is also reasonable probability that it will begin raising rates in 2015, enabling us to pay higher rates to our depositors. I expect this will be a very welcome change.
On the local level, we lent out $75,382,888 in new money, helping the bank grow loan balances by $24,671,972 or 9.09%, representing the largest annual growth in loan balances in more than a decade. This loan growth contributed to an 18% improvement in net income over 2013, with final earnings after taxes of $3.3 million and a return on average assets of .96%.
Western Mountain Financial Services had a very productive year while serving the investment needs of their many clients, with assets under management increasing 5.5% over 2013 year-end numbers.
The year was eventful for our employees and customers in the River Valley as we transitioned our branch activities in Mexico to a bigger, better branch in Rumford, bringing all of our activity under one roof. While the closure of the Mexico office and the extensive renovations of the Rumford office were somewhat disruptive, in the end, the “new” River Valley Branch is modern, beautiful and running well with the experienced, combined staff.
We also made it through two regulatory exams, one evaluating the Safety and Soundness of our bank and the other looking at how we perform against the many banking regulations that we are required to comply with in our daily operations. I am proud to report that we performed very well on both exams.
The capital position of a bank is the true indicator of the bank’s strength. Franklin Savings Bank’s Tier 1 Leverage Capital Ratio is 26%, ranking us at the top of our industry and supporting a position of strength and long-term viability for the bank.
In 2015, we will be making a substantial investment in technology that will enable us to serve an evolving customer base into the future. Among other services, we will add mobile banking and remote deposit capture to improve access to the bank.
The bank ended the year with total assets of $344 million and net income of $3.3 million. We closed 378 consumer mortgages and home equity loans for a total of $39.5 million. We also closed 442 commercial loans, totaling $44 million and 992 non-mortgage consumer loans totaling $8.4 million. Deposits totaled $243.9 million at year end, representing a 1.22% increase for the year.
It is a pleasure to be able to present a very favorable report on the bank’s performance. Thanks to our employees, our Corporators, and our Directors for their tremendous support and to our many customers who allow us to serve them with their financial needs.
We look forward to another year serving our customers and our communities!