Cornerstone Community Bank boosts profits after disposing of bad loans

Cornerstone Community Bank boosts profits after disposing of bad loans

October 20th, 2013 by Staff Reports in Business Around the Region

Cornerstone Community Bank shed more than a third of its bad loans over the past year, helping the Chattanooga bank to boost its earnings by nearly 24 percent so far this year over last year's results.

Cornerstone Banc-shares, Inc., the holding company of the $430 million-asset Cornerstone Bank in Chattanooga, said today it earned $429,000 in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 17.9 percent from the third quarter of 2012. Cornerstone said it cut its nonperforming assets in the past year by 37.3 percent and has increased its profits in the first nine months of 2013 by 23.9 percent to $1.28 million.

The bank said its real estate holdings acquired primarily through loan foreclosures, or Other Real Estate Owned (OREO) assets, were cut by 33.3 percent in the past year

"We continue to make steady, gradual progress in nearly all sectors of the Bank," Cornerstone CEO Frank Hughes said in a quarterly earnings report released today. "We are especially pleased with the significant reduction of OREO and related expenses. The key to the Bank's success is the disposition of our nonperforming assets."

Cornerstone has been profitable for 11 consecutive quarters and paid its most recent preferred quarterly dividend on on Aug. 22, marking the 10th straight quarterly dividend payment since the new security was issued in the third quarter of 2010. The bank raised $15 million from the preferred stock issue to refortifiy its capital position following losses during the recession.

"Cornerstone is in a solid position to grow and thrive right along with the Chattanooga community," Cornerstone Chairman Miller Welborn said.

"We will continue to keep a laser-sharp focus on smart business fundamentals and taking care of our customers, employees and shareholders."

Founded in 1996, Cornerstone is a single-bank holding company, with $430 million in assets, serving the Chattanooga, Tennessee MSA, with five full-service branch locations throughout Chattanooga.

Locally owned and operated, Cornerstone specializes in providing a comprehensive range of customized financial solutions for businesses and individuals.