BOU Bancorp, Inc., the holding company of Bank of Utah and Utah Risk Management, Inc. (Bank) experienced a banner year in 2015 with net income reaching near-record levels. This has allowed us to share more profits with shareholders, expand our product base for customers and reward deserving employees for a job well done.
Over the past five years, tangible book value per share increased by 72 percent. This upward trend continued in 2015 with the tangible book value of $75.50 per share, compared to $68.38 in 2014. This was an increase of 10.4 percent. Cash dividends rose 13.5 percent from $1.85 per share in 2014 to $2.10 in 2015.
We strive to maintain a diverse loan portfolio which enables us to produce the highest returns with minimum risk. This diversity provides balance to better weather periods of decline in the economy and reduce the volatility of our earnings.
Our goal is not to be the biggest bank, but to be the best bank possible for shareholders, customers and employees.
We understand our customers’ concern for the security of their accounts and personal information. In an effort to address this concern, we continue to add new systems that enhance our abilities to protect our customers’ important information. Our information technology professionals are more focused than ever on fighting cybercriminals and keeping our information safe.
Additionally, we offer workshops and educational seminars to help inform our customers of ways to protect themselves from identity thieves and fraudsters. Our team members know the value of our customers’ trust and strive every day to maintain it.
Many talented employees joined our team in 2015. The mortgage department hired several individuals as loan officers and support personnel. Because of our success and good reputation in the market, we have been able to hire top producers that want to be part of a well-run bank that can get loans approved and funded quickly.
The senior management team has an average of over 25 years of experience in banking. The accumulated knowledge of this group has enabled us to navigate profitably through the Great Recession. This level of experience also allowed us to achieve substantial growth, without compromising asset quality.
Our high level of experience is also reflected in all lines of business, such as:
Commercial Lending: Our 22 commercial lenders have been in banking on average 26 years. This expertise has enabled our team to give insightful advice to our clients, enabling them to grow their businesses and us to grow our loans.
Personal Banking: Deposit managers have over 25 years of experience on average in the banking industry. They understand their communities and the needs of their clients.
Home Loans: Our 40 loan officers have an average of 23 years of experience in mortgage lending. This expertise has helped first-time buyers purchase a home, larger families to buy bigger homes and others to purchase the home of their dreams.
Wealth Management: We have 10 professionals with an average of 24 years of experience in the industry. This team has grown to be one of the most respected groups in the state.
We are built on the core belief that every party associated with a transaction should benefit, this includes the customer, the Bank and the employee. The customer benefits by obtaining sound business advice from seasoned loan officers and by obtaining a properly-designed loan at a competitive rate. The Bank obtains a profitable, long-term relationship with a sound business. Lastly, employees get to work in a great environment and are rewarded fully for their efforts. This system creates a bank that is built for the future, one that is built to last.
In 2015, we established a new entity called Utah Risk Management, Inc. (URM). URM is a wholly-owned captive insurance company. We have established URM in order to protect us from various risks that are uninsurable through normal insurance markets, better manage our loss-handling process and to improve our overall tax efficiency.
The primary goal is to continue to serve all of our customers. We are part of the communities we serve. We don’t make decisions from some far-off place. We live where we work. As our marketplace evolves, we will continue to design solid products and services that fit the needs of our clients and their communities. By staying in touch, focusing on the communities we serve and changing with the times, we plan on meeting the needs of our customers for many years to come.
Frank W. Browning
Chairman, BOU Bancorp, Inc.
Douglas L. DeFries
President & CEO, Bank of Utah