RiverBank, which opened for business here about 16 months ago, is exceeding its business plan projections in all facets, says Duane Brandenburg, its president and CEO.
The boutique financial institution currently has about $95 million in assets, which is more than $20 million ahead of where it had projected to be now, Brandenburg says. It expects to crest $100 million in assets by the end of this year, which would make it one of the fastest-growing new banks in the state over the last two decades, he says. Since 1990, only three of 68 startup banks in Washington have been able to hit that threshold within their first two years of operation, according to published reports.
As of the end of last month, RiverBank had total loans of just over $70 million and deposits of nearly $81 million, far ahead of business plan projections of about $49 million and $58 million, respectively, Brandenburg says.
For as low key as weve been, our growth has been phenomenal, he says. Weve been incredibly well received.
RiverBank achieved profitability in July, 14 months after opening its doors, which he says was quicker than had been projected and probably was four to five months ahead of the industry norm. Although there still might be a few scattered months where the bank isnt profitable due to growing pains, he says, Were pretty much over the hump.
As a young institution, you dont get into a normal cycle for a while because youre growing so fast, Brandenburg says, adding that it probably will take three years for us to mature.
The banks rapid growth probably brought it under some added scrutiny during a first annual joint examination by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and state Department of Financial Institutions a couple of months ago, but the review went well and the banks executives were pleased by regulators findings regarding its progress, he says.
The banks loans jumped from about $47 million in March to $73 million in June, then slipped slightly in July and August, which Brandenburg attributes mostly to some large construction-related loans being paid off. He says that loan volume already is climbing again and probably will be at around $80 million by the end of October.
Though hes had some concerns about how a further economic slowdown would affect the bank, he says hes much more upbeat following the Federal Reserves big interest rate cut last week.
Im pretty optimistic were going to continue to see some good solid growth, Brandenburg says.
RiverBank is a niche bank that offers highly personalized services, mostly to small-business and commercial clients in the Spokane area, and that has no interest in serving a broad clientele or growing to a larger size by adding branches.
Its services include concierge courier vehicles, treated and insured as mobile branches and driven by skilled bank employees, that go to customers locations to collect deposits or to respond to customers other banking needs.
Were running three cars now full time, Brandenburg says.
The bank now occupies a total of about 8,000 square feet of floor space on the fourth and fifth floors of a five-story building at 203 E. Spokane Falls Boulevard, following an expansion there earlier this year. Also, it operates a branch in a 3,800-square-foot building just west of there, at 34 E. Spokane Falls Boulevard, where it keeps its courier cars.
RiverBank now has 241 loan accounts, 952 deposit accounts, and 86 concierge customers, all of which also are above projections, Brandenburg says.
It now employs about 30 people, which is up five from last November and about 13 more than it expected to employ at its peak. Brandenburg says that the earlier projected peak staff size was unrealistic, given the specialized services the bank provides, and that it probably will add two or three more employees over the next year.
Brandenburg says he envisions the bank reaching $150 million in assets by the end of next year, and probably adding around $50 million in assets each year thereafter, assuming the economy stays relatively strong.
Brandenburg had said earlier that he envisions the bank capping its growth once it reaches around $375 million in assets, hopefully within five to seven years, but he notes that hes less focused on some arbitrary number than on staying at a size that allows the bank to know its customers personally.
Our model is based on providing exceptional service in relationship banking to those people who want that product, and the bank will suffer if it deviates from that strategy, Brandenburg says.
Contact Kim Crompton at (509) 344-1263 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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