published Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Cornerstone Bank profits down from year-ago level

Cornerstone Bancshares, Inc., the parent company of Cornerstone Community Bank in Chattanooga, reported today that it earned $252,000 in the first quarter of 2010.

Although quarterly earnings were down nearly 27 percent from the same time a year ago, Cornerstone reported a 58.4 percent drop in non performing loans compared to the fourth quarter and the bank added $15,000 to its loan reserves.

“We continue to reshape our balance sheet and move problem loans through the collection cycle,” Cornerstone Bank President Frank Hughes said. “We have seen an improvement in the real estate market in Chattanooga and believe that the speed of disposal of properties will accelerate during 2011 as properties either sell or are rented to produce noninterest income.”

Cornerstone is operating under a consent order with bank regulators and deliberate shrank the size of its loan portfolio and holdings in the past year. As of March 31, Cornerstone assets totaled $447.5 million, down 20.4 percent in the past year.

“Our Directors and Management team remain fully committed and engaged to keep Cornerstone tracking in the right direction,” Cornerstone Chairman Miller Welborn said. “Our goal is to provide the best products, service and value to each of our Bank customers, and a positive return on investment for all of our Cornerstone stakeholders.”

Cornerstone is a single-bank holding company with five branches in Chattanooga and a loan production office in Dalton, Ga.

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