BSB Bancorp recently posted its 12th consecutive quarter of earnings growth, boosted by residential lending even as commercial lending softened in the second quarter.

The holding company for Belmont Savings Bank recorded net income totaling $2.95 million, or 33 cents per share, in the period ended June 30, representing an 84.2 percent increase from the year-ago period. For the six months ended June 30, the company posted net income of $5.49 million, up 84.4 percent from the same time frame in 2015.

In a recent interview with Banker & Tradesman, President and CEO Robert M. Mahoney credited growth in the bank’s loan portfolio and disciplined expense controls with the growth in earnings. He said that expenses had declined about $300,000 from the prior quarter and pointed to the bank’s efficiency ratio, which improved to 56.3 percent from 70.1 percent in the second quarter last year.

“We kept expenses pretty darn flat, so when you increase your revenues and hold your expenses down, good things happen,” he said. “In an interest rate environment like this where rates are very low, you’ve got to watch your nickels and dimes, and you’ve got to watch your costs.”

Net interest and dividend income increased 29.7 percent year-over-year to $11.7 million, before provision for loan losses. The company put aside $741,000 to cover potential loan losses in the second quarter, about double the $365,000 it set aside as provision for loan losses last year.

Total assets increased 9.2 percent from year-end 2015 to $1.98 billion. Net loans increased $154.34 million, or 10 percent, over that period, too. Residential one-to-four family loans, commercial real estate loans, home equity lines of credit and commercial loans increased $124.18 million, $34.94 million, $10.32 million and $7.06 million, respectively. Indirect auto loans declined $23.31 million, in part because the company had suspended new originations due to current market conditions.

Mahoney attributed the softening in the bank’s commercial portfolios largely to paydowns that offset new loan originations and said he didn’t anticipate that would become a trend over the quarters to come.

Deposits increased 9.1 percent from year-end 2015 to $1.38 billion. Mahoney said the bank saw some growth in its municipal deposit products and has increasingly done more business with colleges and universities.

“I hope for more of the same,” he said of the year ahead. “I think we’ve got things pretty well lined up for continued growth and profits. We enjoy a very strong economy, we’re in the best part of the geography in Massachusetts and I think the businesses we’ve chosen to be in are very solid… We get a very small share of a very big business.”

BSB’s Q2 Profits Rise On Resi Loans, Controlled Expenses

by Laura Alix time to read: 2 min