Spokane Journal of Business

Wash. Trust parent posts record profit

WTB Financial reports assets, deposits, loans all grew at least 6.5 percent

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Spokane-based WTB Financial Corp. posted record net income of $15.6 million for 1997, up 6.9 percent from 1996.

The financial services holding company, the parent of Washington Trust Bank, of Spokane, also reported solid gains in assets, loans, and deposits for the year ended Dec. 31, compared with year-earlier figures. WTB Financials assets rose 6.7 percent to $1.44 billion, its loans grew 6.5 percent to $946 million, and its deposits climbed 7.9 percent to $1.16 billion.

The company reported a return on average assets of 1.14 percent, up from 1.11 percent a year earlier, and a return on average equity of 12.61 percent, down from 12.98 percent.

Were very pleased. It was a year of a lot of hard work, WTB spokeswoman Lea Werner says.

The deposit and loan gains matched or exceeded goals the company set for itself for 1997. A year ago, Peter Stanton, WTBs president and CEO, said that WTB hoped to post deposit growth of 5 percent to 6 percent and loan growth of 6 percent to 7 percent.

For 1998, Werner says, the company has set aggressive goals for growth and for maintaining efficiencies. She declines to elaborate on exactly how much growth the company is hoping for, saying thats not easy to quantify.

Werner does say WTB will continue to improve its service delivery system in 1998, pointing to the recent opening of Washington Trust Banks new drive-up-only branch in Lincoln Heights and plans to offer home-banking services via Washington Trusts Internet site by late 1998 or early 1999.

Last year also marked the end of an era at Washington Trust. Philip H. Stanton, Peter Stantons father, left his post as chairman of Washington Trust Bank effective Jan. 1, 1997, after more than 50 years with the bank. He continues as chairman of WTB Financial, and Peter Stanton succeeded him as chairman of Washington Trust.

  • Marlene Mehlhaff

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