After a tough year that included layoffs, the parent company of Envision Bank, formerly known as Randolph Savings Bank, appears to be hiring again in an effort to build up the bank’s mortgage business.

The company announced in its first quarter earnings release that it has hired eight new loan originators since year end to increase market share of home purchase loans as refinancing activity continues to decline. The news comes after the bank laid off 8 percent of its workforce, or 16 employees, in December 2017.

“We continue to take actions necessary to improve the operating results of our mortgage banking business,” James P. McDonough, president and CEO of the company, said in a statement. “We are especially focused on efficiencies in the loan origination process, from application through closing, to ensure our customers a great experience.”

The last few years have not been particularly fruitful for the bank.; it did not turn a profit from 2012 through 2015. Randolph executives took a number of steps to get the bank back on track in 2016, notably converting from a mutual bank to a publicly traded bank.

The money raised in the public offering was then used to purchase First Eastern Mortgage that same year. The company appeared to be reaping benefits from the acquisition, reporting strong residential mortgage origination volume in the second quarter of 2016, fueled by a decline in long-term interest rates and an increase in the proportion of such loans sold in the secondary market. The bank reported $2.64 million in net income at the end of 2016.

But the bank’s mortgage operations took a hit last year as the housing inventory shrunk and refinancing activity slowed. According to the bank’s 2017 third quarter earnings report, residential loan originations in 2017 were down 35 percent. The bank reported nearly $2 million in losses at the end of the year.

During the first quarter of this year, Randolph Savings Bank changed its name to Envision Bank in order to reflect a commitment to delivering a people and technology approach in support of healthier financial well-being for its customers and communities.

“We are very excited with last month’s launch of the Envision Bank brand,” said McDonough. “Our investments in online banking and bill pay, and mobile banking, as well as the continuing investment in our branch network demonstrate our commitment to delivering a differentiating experience to our customers. Our new Braintree branch office, which opened earlier this month, gives ready access to the Envision Bank brand to this community.”

Losses have continued to pile up, however. The company reported a net loss of $707,000, or $0.12 per share, for the first quarter of 2018 compared to a net loss of $447,000, or $0.08 per share, for the first quarter of 2017. Net interest income increased by $498,000, or 14.3 percent, to nearly $4 million for the three months ended March 31, 2018 compared to the same period in the prior year. The margin lost two basis points year-over-year, settling at 3.2 percent.

Total assets at the end of the first quarter were about $533.5 million, up more than $50 million year-over-year. Total loans at the end of the first quarter were roughly $407.3 million, up about $14 million year-over-year.

Envision Bank, Formerly Randolph Savings Bank, is Hiring Again Amid Losses

by Bram Berkowitz time to read: 2 min