At Bank of Utah, we have learned that by keeping focused and giving our employees proper tools, that we will meet the objectives of our customers, shareholders and employees. This has been demonstrated by the financial results for 2014.
Alignment of Goals
During the past few years, we have spent significant time aligning the goals and objectives of the Bank. All stakeholders (employees, customers and shareholders) are now reaping the benefits of these efforts.
Employees: We have set clear and concise corporate goals for our employees. Senior Management, along with each business line, has been actively involved in this process. Once corporate level goals are set, the individual goals for each business line are developed. The specific business line goals are reviewed monthly so adjustments can be made, if necessary. This system has fostered an environment of teamwork and loyalty amongst employees and an understanding of what is important to our customers.
Customers: We continue to scour the marketplace for new, innovative products and services to improve our customers’ banking experience.
We have added mobile deposit for our tech savvy customers. Later this year, we are adding Apple Pay. Additionally, we will roll out a new and improved website.
In our trust business line, we offer self-directed IRAs, which have been very popular. We have further expanded our offerings for foundations and charitable organizations, in addition to all the regular products, for which we have been known.
The mortgage business line has introduced one-time close loans, which allow our customers to deal with loan documents once for both the construction and long-term financing of their new home. We are also offering Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), otherwise known as reverse mortgages—which provide more solutions for customers ages 62+ to more fully enjoy their retirement or to meet unforeseen needs that may sometimes arise.
In commercial lending, we have further focused and refined our expertise in certain areas such as equipment, apartments, assisted living, hospitality, retail and warehouses. We do, of course, still strive to serve the borrowing needs of the business community in general. We can do this successfully because we continue to employ some of the most experienced and dedicated commercial bankers in our markets.
Shareholders: Since 2009, BOU Bancorp, Inc. stock valuation has increased by 58%. In 2014 alone, it grew by 9%. This has been possible due to the fact that Utah is the second-fastest growing economy in the country. Utah was exceeded only by North Dakota with its unprecedented oil boom. The highest growth sectors in Utah are Construction, followed in order by, Leisure/Hospitality, Information, Transportation and Trade/Utilities. Utah is becoming a place where employers nationwide come when they are looking for an educated workforce that has an old-fashioned work ethic and mainstream values. This has proved to be an excellent environment for all our lines of business.
By all indications, 2015 is going to be a good year for Bank of Utah. We will continue to be disciplined in the way we conduct business as a company and as individuals—working together to serve our customers, employees and shareholders.
Frank W. Browning
Chairman, BOU Bancorp, Inc.
Douglas L. DeFries
President & CEO, Bank of Utah