2nd quarter leaves banks hungry for higher earnings

Filed under: Banking & Finance |

Second-quarter earnings at Colorado Springs largest locally based banks are a mixed bag.

Following the national trend, some are up and some are down.

At 5 Star Bank, second-quarter earnings were listed at $7.47 million, an increase over 2009.

But it was the sale of assets that most contributed to the increase, said Senior Vice President Randy Rocha.

At The Bank at Broadmoor, year-to-date net income is $548,463. Second-quarter earnings came in at $292,667.

“Our income is down from last year,” said CEO Ed Sauer, adding, however, that it’s also three times the net income of the bank’s national peer group.

He attributes the decline to the lowest income rate banks have seen in decades.

“Loan losses are not a problem,” said Sauer, who is also chairman of the Colorado Bankers Association. “The bigger issue is the compression of the net interest margin.”

“Businesses that are here today are surviving — some are even thriving, because they made cutbacks and confronted the brutal facts of what was necessary to weather the storm,” he said.

The county has seen a slight decline in loan losses, and he expects that the local and state banking industry will soon see improvements in earnings.

“But we’re not out of this yet,” he said.

“There will probably be some bank failures in Colorado. We as an industry are not immune to that. But the overall strength of the banks here is good,” Sauer said.

The second-quarter earnings for FirstBank of Colorado Springs are down year-over-year. And at FirstBank of El Paso County, earnings are up year-over-year.

“The demand (for loans) still seems to be lacking,” said Brian Larson, president of FirstBank of Colorado Springs and FirstBank of El Paso County.

On the commercial side, FirstBank has been lending to business owners who qualify to partner with the Small Business Administration, he said. And some homeowners are refinancing consumer mortgages.

Primary-industry employers grants

There’s $2.7 million in grants for primary-industry employers up for grabs — but deadlines are looming.

The Colorado Community College System is the administrator for the $2.7 million Colorado Training Grant Program.

The first-round deadline for Colorado FIRST is Aug. 2, and the Existing Industry first-round deadline is Aug. 13. There are additional deadlines in October.

These grants enable primary-industry employers to increase short-term, fast-track employee training.

The grant program is administered jointly by the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade and the Colorado Community College System.

Colorado FIRST

The incentive program is for companies who are relocating to Colorado or are undertaking a major expansion. Grants are usually given based on the number and quality of jobs created. They’re administered by the community colleges.

The competitive grants program is for companies that are adding a significant number of new full-time jobs to their workforce. The companies need to create a training plan and apply with their local community college.

Existing Industry

Existing Industry grants are for Colorado companies that are implementing new technology to remain competitive and keep jobs in the state.

When technological advances threaten a company’s competitive edge, the grants provide dollars for employee retraining.

For more information, visit the Pikes Peak Community College website at www.ppcc.edu or contact the local program administrator at PPCC Economic and Workforce Development Division: Jerry Fritz jerry.fritz@ppcc.edu or (719) 502-3452, or Melissa Westmoland at melissa.westmoland@ppcc.edu or (719) 502-3451.

U.S. Bank rolls out ScoreBoard

Minneapolis-based U.S. Bank, which has seven main branches and nine retail branches in the Pikes Peak region, has rolled out ScoreBoard, an online tool that helps small business clients monitor credit card spending and compares card sales to industry trends.

ScoreBoard is available to the bank’s small business credit cardholders and merchant customers who process electronic transactions through U.S. Bank Merchant Services.

Business owners can use it to monitor card spending by employee.

Merchants can use it to review sales by volume, price, or payment type; measure growth for card sales; and benchmark card sales performance against industry or geographic peers.

Rebecca Tonn can be reached at rebecca.tonn@csbj.com or 719-329-5229. Friend her on Facebook. Dolan Newswires contributed to this report.