News Column

Riverview reports strong fourth-quarter earnings

May 1, 2014

By Gordon Oliver, The Columbian, Vancouver, Wash.

May 01--The long faces of earlier hard times are long gone from the leadership of Vancouver-based Riverview Community Bank, and Thursday's disclosure that parent Riverview Bancorp earned $16.6 million in its fourth quarter made for good cheer on a hot afternoon.

The healthy earnings, which amount to $0.74 per diluted share, were largely the product of Riverview's release from a two-year-old government mandate to set aside $15.1 million in additional savings. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 2012 required Riverview to set aside that money in what is called a Deferred Tax Asset Valuation Allowance as a hedge against a high level of troubled loans. Riverview said the requirement was eased after Riverview reduced its number of bad loans and reported seven consecutive profitable quarters.

Riverview leaders said Thursday that they're relieved to be out from under the added regulatory burden and have already directed a greater share of staff resources to expanding the bank's portfolio of every kind of loan. "We are looking for good loans," said Pat Sheaffer, Riverview's chairman and CEO.

"We want to finance your house and your kids education," he said.

Sheaffer called the bank's fiscal year 2014, which ended on March 31, a banner year for the only remaining locally based bank in Clark County. It's net income increased to $19.4 million, compared to $2.6 million in fiscal year 2013 -- an improvement even when the $15.1 million in released savings is excluded. The fourth quarter net income of $1.5 million (excluding the $15.1 million in released savings) exceeded the $801,000 in net income in the third quarter and nearly matched the $1.6 million from the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2013.

Riverview reported that net loans increased $15.3 million during the fourth quarter, with loan originations totaling $41.5 million. Nonperforming loans and other assets decreased $3.6 million during the quarter to $21.8 million, a 14.1 percent decline. Deposits increased by $26.3 million to $690.1 million.

Yet even as it turns a corner toward better fiscal health, the company is not yet ready to issue a dividend to its shareholders, said Ron Wysaske, president and chief operations officer. "We still have some work to do," Wysaske said Thursday.

The 91-year-old bank has about 250 employees and 18 branches, including 13 in the Vancouver-Portland metropolitan area, and three lending centers.


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Source: Columbian (Vancouver, WA)

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