Equipped. Empowered. Nimble.
To say we are in a season of change is an understatement; we are in a season of rapid change. To combat soaring inflation, the Federal Reserve raised the interest rate a quarter percentage point in March after holding it at or near zero since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fed has always used the interest rate as a weapon to battle inflation, and has indicated that six more increases could occur throughout 2022. The rising rate will set off a domino effect, where borrowing costs for consumers will go up as well. That could impact the Bank, and has the potential to slow growth in mortgage and commercial lending.
Bank of Utah anticipated this, however. While it will be a challenging year, we have four strengths on our side: size, capital, leaders who are good stewards of our resources, and dedicated, service-minded employees. These core strengths give us the ability to respond to our customers quickly and help them make the best decisions possible. That is why Bank of Utah will have a competitive advantage in 2022.
For the first quarter of the year, the Bank showed growth and stability despite the interest rate hike in March, with mortgage production experiencing a quarter-over-quarter increase and commercial lending being right in line with Q4 2021. Deposits grew from the previous quarter, as did fee income from Corporate Trust. As a result:
Consolidated net income for the first quarter of 2022 was $7.9 million, compared to $7.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2021, an increase of 2.3 percent.
Noninterest Income increased by 3.7 percent from the previous quarter, to $7.4 million.
Recently, as I was watching the markets and the rates in my office at the Bank, I thought, wouldn’t it be nice to retire the phrase, ‘In times of uncertainty,’ especially for our customers. While we can’t do that right now, we can offer them the assurance that we’ll continue to make thoughtful, quick decisions, we’ll continue to be committed to our community, and we’ll continue to be strong even through the challenging times — just as we have for the last 70 years.
Douglas L. DeFries
President and CEO