BOSTON, March 8, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Bank, America's oldest and largest mutual bank, today announced record financial performance in 2017. Annual net income was $86.7 million, an increase of nearly 40 percent from 2016 and an all-time record. Total assets ended the year at nearly $11 billion. Loans, deposits and capital levels also set records. Loans totaled $8.2 billion in 2017, up 7% over 2016; deposits were $8.8 billion, up 8% over 2016; and capital exceeded $1.3 billion, up 6% over 2016. Loan credit quality remained stellar with very low loan losses of .02% and non-performing assets below $20 million, leading measures among national and local banks.
"2017 was not only a record for us in many areas, but our strongest performance relative to industry peers in several years," said Bob Rivers, completing his first year as Eastern's Chair and CEO. "Strong performance across all our businesses positions Eastern for continued success as we begin our third century in business this Spring. We believe our success is proof that you can do well by doing good things that help people prosper. We especially thank our customers and communities we serve for entrusting us with their business, and our colleagues and partners for their many contributions."
Eastern benefitted from rising interest rates and a strong local economy to generate record results. Net interest income was $338.5 million, a $44.9 million increase over 2016 as higher interest rates on loans and investments exceeded higher costs on deposits and other funding. The net interest margin improved to 3.65% from 3.33% in 2016 and was in the top 15% of Eastern's selected peer group.
"All our businesses had strong lending volumes with our Commercial Banking Group having an exceptional year as commercial loans increased by 8% over 2016 to $5.4 billion in 2017," said James B. Fitzgerald, Vice Chair, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer. "Our commitment to Small Business remains as strong as ever, with loan growth of 13%, and Eastern was once again ranked the #1 SBA lender in New England."
Other 2017 financial performance highlights include:
- Total premiums written by Eastern Insurance Group exceeded $1 billion for the first time, resulting in record revenues of over $80 million, up 12% from 2016, supported by two insurance agency acquisitions in 2017;
- Eastern Wealth Management's investment management fees increased 8% to $17.6 million; and
- Ending the year with over $1.3 billion in capital, which met the "well-capitalized" standards set by regulators, and maintained an extremely strong balance sheet with excellent loan quality, ample liquidity and robust capital levels.
Eastern launched its Join Us For Good campaign last year in conjunction with the onset of its upcoming bicentennial. This program inspires customers, communities and others to join together to "create a movement" to do good things and help people prosper. It highlights the principles of community service, philanthropy and advocacy that are at the core of Eastern's mission.
In 2017, the Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation provided over $8 million in more than 2,000 grants. Supporting immigrants was a priority in 2017 with $1.7 million in 178 grants going to organizations addressing immigration across Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. In addition, Eastern employees donated more than 59,000 hours to organizations and causes important to them. In celebration of the Bank's 200th anniversary in 2018 and to honor its first depositor, Rebecca Sutton, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has announced Advancing Women as its 2018 Targeted Grant focus and will commit $1.8 million to community-based organizations focused on addressing a wide range of issues that disproportionately impact women and girls.
About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818 and celebrating its 200th anniversary in 2018, Boston-based Eastern Bank is America's oldest and largest mutual bank, with $11 billion in assets and over 120 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Eastern provides exceptional access to fairly priced banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is known for its outspoken advocacy and community support that has exceeded more than $110 million in charitable giving since 1999. An inclusive company, Eastern employs 1,900+ deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues and communities. Join us for good at www.easternbank.com and follow Eastern on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
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SOURCE Eastern Bank