Spokane Journal of Business

Wheatland Bank expands its mortgage division

30 percent increase in total staff anticipated this year

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Spokane-based Wheatland Bank has expanded its mortgage division downtown.

The home loan division, led by Troy Sims, senior vice president and director of residential lending services, has a team of 15, including six residential lenders and support staff, says Erica Mostek, Wheatland Bank’s marketing manager.

Before expanding the home loan division, the bank had two residential loan officers, she says.

The expansion represents about a 20 percent increase in the bank’s Spokane workforce, Mostek says, and Wheatland expects a total Spokane staff increase of about 30 percent this year, which equates to about seven additional new hires.

“It’s a major expansion with a considerable increase to the overall size of the bank,” Mostek says. “The team is very experienced, and we’re hoping to see great things.”

Wheatland Bank acquired its longtime headquarters building at 222 N. Wall in 2015 and now occupies a total of 25,000 square feet of space on the first and third floors of the four-story building.

The full-service home loan center faces Riverfront Park on the first floor of the building, which also is occupied by Wheatland Bank’s downtown retail branch.

The bank’s administrative offices and commercial loan center occupy the third floor.

The bank expects the new division to extend recent robust earnings growth, which resulted in a 22 percent increase in the market value of the bank last year compared with a year earlier, Mostek says.

Wheatland Bank’s parent company, Community Financial Group Inc., reported recently that its net income in 2016 was $2.4 million, a 26 percent increase compared with 2015 net income of $1.9 million.

As of Dec. 31, 2016, the bank’s loans totaled $243 million, a 10 percent increase from the end of the prior year. Wheatland had earlier claimed the bank had the highest percentage of loan growth of any bank in Washington state in 2015.

The bank’s assets totaled $365 million as of Dec. 31, up from $350 million a year earlier. Deposits totaled $328 million at year-end, up from $319 million a year earlier.

The earnings report says Community Financial Group’s board also had declared a 5 percent stock dividend for its 400-plus shareholders and approved a stock repurchase program.

Companywide, Wheatland Bank has a total staff of more than 130 employees and operates 14 branches in eight counties in Central and Eastern Washington.

Mike McLean
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Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

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