Essex Savings Bank reveals decrease in profits, increase in capital on hand

Essex Savings Bank reported Thursday a 15 percent profit slide in 2013 compared with last year's net income.

Profits were $1.7 million in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, compared with a reported $2 million profit in the same period the year before, according to numbers released by Gregory R. Shook, president and chief executive of Essex Savings, after the bank's semi-annual board of trustees meeting last month.

Shook could not be reached by telephone Thursday to discuss the annual financial report in detail.

"Credit quality remained strong with zero foreclosed properties," he said in a statement. "Our branches continue to attract new relationships, and our newest branches in Madison and Chester are operating ahead of our projections."

Shook said the mutual bank's capital on hand increased by $1.8 million to $40.4 million - well ahead of regulatory requirements. He also said core deposits rose $12 million and assets rose $6.7 million.

The bank's 162nd year also saw its trust department increase assets under management to more than $300 million. That's a rise of nearly 13 percent year over year.

The financial-services division also announced good numbers. Essex Financial Services Inc. said total revenue for the division reached $18.7 million, up 12 percent - the fourth straight year of record revenue growth.

The bank did not report Essex Financial's assets under management, as it did last year when the division was run by company founder John Rafal. Rafal has since turned over the reins to Charles Cumello, though he remains with the company as vice president.

With branches in Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and several other Connecticut River Valley towns, Essex Savings makes annual donations to local charities amounting to 10 percent of after-tax profits. This year, contributions will total $224,000, and by year end the bank will have given more than $3.9 million to nonprofits since the give-back program began nearly two decades ago.


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