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Friendly Hills Bancorp Reports Third Quarter Results; Planned Departure of Its Chief Executive Officer

 

 

WHITTIER, Calif. - Friendly Hills Bancorp (OTCBB: FHLB), the holding company for Friendly Hills Bank, reports results for the third quarter of 2021 the planned departure of its Chief Executive Officer, Jeffrey Ball, to pursue other business opportunities and the appointment of Mr. Christopher Naghibi to its Boards of Directors.

For the nine-month period ended September 30, 2021, the bank reported net income of $784,000 or $0.39 per basic and diluted share of common stock which includes $494,000 in income from an Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The bank reported net income of $622,000 or $0.31 per basic and diluted share of common stock for the nine months ended September 30, 2020 (which includes a $150,000 provision for loan losses).

As of September 30, 2021, the bank reported total assets of $315.2 million, a 33% increase from $236.3 million as of September 30, 2020, and a 54% increase from $204.2 million as of December 31, 2020. The bank’s loan portfolio, net of unearned income, decreased 33% from $139.9 million as of September 30, 2020, to $93.6 million as of September 30, 2021.  This reflects a 24% decrease from $123.2 million as of December 31, 2020. The decrease in loans in the past 12 months, $46.3 million, is attributable to the payoff of loans under the Paycheck Protection Program as borrowers successfully completed the loan forgiveness process with the U.S. Small Business Administration. The portfolio remains diversified with $36.3 million or 39% in Commercial & Industrial Loans to local businesses (including $22.3 million in Owner Occupied Commercial Real Estate Loans), $32.4 million or 35% in Commercial Real Estate Loans to investors and $22.0 million or 23% in Residential Real Estate Loans to investors.  At September 30, 2021, the bank has an additional $19.6 million in unfunded loan commitments.

The bank’s overall deposit base has increased 69% in the twelve months ended September 30, 2021, from $159.6 million as of September 30, 2020, to $269.9 million as of September 30, 2021. The increase is primarily due to the previously announced completion of the acquisition of three Bank of Southern California branches and their deposits totaling $82.4 million in September. The bank’s overall deposit base has increased 67% from $161.5 million as of December 31, 2020. Non interest-bearing deposits remain a substantial part of the deposit base (49%), increasing from $75.9 million as of September 30, 2020, to $132.9 million as of September 30, 2021. During the same period, interest-bearing deposits increased from $83.7 million as of September 30, 2020, to $137.0 million on September 30, 2021.

On September 30, 2021, shareholders’ equity was $21.0 million, and the bank’s total risk-based capital ratio was 19%, significantly exceeding the “well-capitalized” level of 10% prescribed under regulatory requirements. The bank also continues to maintain substantial liquidity positions, retaining significant balances of liquidity as well as available collateralized borrowings and other potential sources of liquidity.

The bank entered into a mutual Separation Agreement with Jeffrey K. Ball, Chief Executive Officer, in connection with his desire to pursue other business opportunities. Mr. Ball will remain in his position as President and Chief Executive Officer until the end of the year and intends to continue serving as a director of Friendly Hills Bancorp and Friendly Hills Bank after the completion of his employment.  

“We were pleased to report the completion of the acquisition and integration of the three branch offices which together added approximately $81 million to the bank’s deposit base,” commented Jeffrey K. Ball, Chief Executive Officer. “This expansion of the bank’s deposit base and service area into Orange and San Bernardino Counties will provide greater opportunities for continued growth. While net interest margin continues to be under pressure due to current market conditions, we believe the bank is well positioned for future development with a strong balance sheet and no problem assets. I am proud to have led the bank from founding to its current position and I look forward to working with the board in identifying and supporting a new leader for the organization who can continue our pursuit of long-term shareholder value.”

“As the Founder of the Bank over 15 years ago, Jeff has demonstrated consistent leadership in the development and operation of the bank,” commented William C. Greenbeck, Board Chair. “He recognizes the bank’s need for new leadership to continue the growth that is required as the industry evolves and we are appreciative of his desire to remain part of that effort by continuing to serve as a Director. We value his continued dedication to the success of the company and wish him well in his new career endeavors.”

In addition, Mr. Christopher Naghibi, a resident of Irvine, California and Chief Credit Officer of First Foundation Bank, has joined the Bank and Bancorp’s Board of Directors.

 

 

FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This news release may include forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and Friendly Hills Bancorp intends for such forward-looking statements to be covered by the safe harbor provisions for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Future events are difficult to predict, and the expectations described above are necessarily subject to risk and uncertainty that may cause actual results to differ materially and adversely. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “estimate,” or words of similar meaning, or future or conditional verbs such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” or “may” and similar expressions. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, nor should they be relied upon as representing management’s views as of any subsequent date. Forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from those presented, either expressed or implied, in this news release. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to: Friendly Hills Bank’s ability to (i) successfully realize the benefits of the branch acquisition, including customer acquisition and retention, (ii) identify a new Chief Executive Officer, (iii) execute on its business plans and (iv) achieve its business objectives, including managing costs associated with the branch acquisition; changes in general economic and financial market conditions, either nationally or locally, in areas in which Friendly Hills Bank conducts its operations; changes in interest rates; continuing consolidation in the financial services industry; new litigation or changes in existing litigation; increased competitive challenges and expanding product and pricing pressures among financial institutions; effect of governmental supervision and regulation, including any regulatory or other enforcement actions; legislation or regulatory changes which adversely affect Friendly Hills Bank’s operations or business; loss of key personnel; and changes in accounting policies or procedures as may be required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory agencies. Friendly Hills Bancorp undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances except as required by law.

 

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