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Despite increases in loans, deposits, and total assets, earnings for last year at the parent company of Evanston’s First Bank & Trust dipped 15 percent from the previous year, largely due to newly opened branches in Skokie and Naperville.

Net income for First Evanston Bancorp, Inc. amounted to $3,565,000, or $2.36 a share, for 2012, compared to $4,061,000, or $2.78 a share, in 2011.

Key banking indicators, however, were strong.

Deposits rose from $682,266,000 at the end of 2011 to $755,442,000 by the end of 2012.

And loans, net of an allowance for loan losses, increased from $501,455,000 to $562,946,000 during the year.

Total assets increased from $752,504,000 to $829,480,000.

The critical loan-to-deposit ratio remained essentially flat, rising slightly from 73.4 percent to 74.5 percent.

This means that less than three out of four deposit dollars were at work earning loan interest income.

The resulting net interest income after provision for loan losses came in at $20,549,000, just slightly less than the $20,577,000 earned last year.

The decline in earnings “was due primarily to a narrowing of our net interest margin as a result of the very substantial liquidity we are continuing to experience, as well as the expenses related to our newly opened Skokie and Naperville locations,” said the company’s chief executive officer, Robert R. Yohanan, in a letter to stockholders that accompanied the audited financial statements.

But compared to other market competitors, Yohanan said, “the bank’s results were very good.”

He reminded stockholders that the bank has maintained a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial, a bank rating firm, making it the only bank on the North Shore to do so, and that its “key capital ratios remained well above regulatory standards for well-capitalized financial institutions.”

The company’s annual meeting is scheduled for March 19 at 2 p.m. at 820 Church St.

Charles Bartling

A resident of Evanston since 1975, Chuck Bartling holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and has extensive experience as a reporter and editor for daily newspapers, radio...

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2 Comments

  1. First B&T

    I am a long time customer and believe that this is a well run, community-oriented bank.  That said, it is also the bank with the least impressive web presence and most archaic password model I have ever seeen, requiring customers to re-set their passwords every 90 days.  This is an inconvenience that causes me to write down my password so I remember it, which is not a good practice, but I have no other way to remember – otherwise every time i go online i have to reset my password. 

    Go to any other credit card or bank site and you will not see this password policy.  The 90 day rule typically is used by employers for its employees, not for retail establishments and their customers.  I have sent the bank e-mails on this numerous times and never receive a response. 

    1. re: passwords

      Peter, you're spot on. This is why I no longer bank with B&T. When I first moved to Evanston I was excited for the opportunity to bank locally. But the bank's website is horrendous, their password model so difficult to navigate. I do all of my banking online and this was frustrating and the bank seemed completely unwilling to even acknowledge that change was needed. I ended up switching to a big bank. Unfortunate.

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