First B&T is now a billion-dollar bank


For the first time in its 20-year history, First Evanston Bancorp, Inc., the parent corporation of First Bank & Trust Co., has ended a calendar quarter with assets exceeding a billion dollars.

Chairman and CEO Robert Yohanan shared the positive news with shareholders Friday, along with the regular quarterly earnings report that detailed financial results as of the end of March.

“From management’s standpoint,” Yohanan cautioned, “the quality of our assets is a more important factor than pure size, but the achievement does demonstrate the continuing growth of the bank in those markets in which we operate.”

Indeed, even while the loan portfolio increased 5 percent during the year, from $717,741,000 to $755,013,000, the provision for loan losses declined slightly, from $10,724,000 to $10,718,000, which Yohanan contends “reflects the high quality of the loan portfolio as measured by non-performing loans and expected charge-offs.”

He noted, also, that the bank maintained Veribank’s highest Green 3-Star rating for strength and stability, as of the end of 2015.

Deposits for the year ended on March 31 grew from $860,995,000 in 2015 to $972,826,000. And assets increased from $969,850,000 to $1,070,114,000.

Net income for the first quarter grew from $1,394,000, or 87 cents a share, in 2015, to $1,603,000, or 97 cents a share, this year.

“The first three months of the year have gone very well for the company,” Yohanan noted, adding, “we are hopeful that the remaining months will continue the established trend.”

Charles Bartling

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 stations and business-oriented magazines.

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