Better numbers heartening for community banks

Four community banks chartered in the Boulder Valley showed better metrics in the first quarter of 2013 than the same period in 2012.

AMG National Trust Bank and Flatirons Bank in Boulder, Mile High Banks in Longmont and Summit Bank and Trust in Broomfield recorded a “significant improvement” in their return on equity, a key metric of bank health, said Jenifer Waller, senior vice president of the Colorado Bankers Association in Denver, a trade group.

Waller calculated ROE, as it’s called in the industry, as well as other key bank metrics, using statistics from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s latest quarterly call reports.

As a group, the four banks recorded an 8.3 percent return on equity, compared with a 2.3 percent return on equity in 2012, Waller said.

The four banks recorded noncurrent assets (the formal name for delinquent loans) of 6.9 percent. That was down from 9.4 percent for the same period a year earlier, Waller said. The drop in delinquent loans appears to reflect an improvement in the regional economy, she said.

The four banks’ risk-based capital was 13. 7 percent compared with 7.9 percent in the same quarter a year earlier, a very healthy growth, Waller said.

“The capital ratios simply blow me away,” Waller said.

Three of the banks also reported net income for the quarter. Mile High reported $1.9 million; AMG National Trust reported $887,000; and Flatirons reported $210,000.

Summit Bank and Trust reported a net loss of $45,000.

At Mile High Banks, executives are looking forward to building the business again, said Ken McCormick, chief executive of Strategic Growth Bancorp in El Paso, Texas, the new owner of the bank. Mile High Banks parent company Big Sandy Holdings went through Chapter 11 bankruptcy, although Mile High Banks operated independently. Strategic Growth Bancorp bought Mile High’s stock for $5.5 million and. recapitalized the bank with $90 million in a transaction approved by the Colorado Division of Banking at the end of 2012.

“We’re enjoying it. It’s going great,” McCormick said in response to the first-quarter net income numbers.

While the four Boulder Valley banks appear to be doing well, based on the latest metrics, Waller said she is cautious in making broad statements about how all banks did across the state in the first quarter.

“There is such a significant presence of out-of-state banks doing business in Colorado … that numbers on these four banks cannot tell the entire banking story,” Waller said.

Next up

What happens when a group of middle school kids – helped by college students and professional investor volunteers – put $25,000 into the stock market? They pick a portfolio that returns about 2 percent in less than two months.

That was the case of Summit Charter Middle School students who took a financial lessons class this spring from accounting and finance students at the Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado Boulder.

While final tallies are not in, two top-performing stocks in the portfolio were Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq: SSYS), a 3-D printing company that brought in a return of nearly 18 percent, and Under Armour (NYSE: UA), a sports clothing company that brought in a return of 10.5 percent, according to Alan Jagolinzer, the associate professor at the Leeds School who directed the project.

The $25,000 used to invest in the market was allocated to the project by an unnamed nonprofit group that supports the school.

The middle-school students researched companies and pitched their ideas to a volunteer group of professional investors.

CU-Boulder students also helped the middle schoolers launch a business club that opened a small school supply store called “$um Stuff.”

Are you the rich type?

Finally, in the “offbeat news you can use” department, comes a new financial personality test inspired by the well-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment.

Don’t laugh – this might be just the information you need to build your personal wealth.

Financial personality types are divided into four dichotomies, according to GoBankingRates, an online financial tool.

Debtor (D) / Saver (S)

Aggressive (A) / Conservative (C)

Planning (P) / Impulsive (I)

Giving (G) / Hoarder (H)

The “test” may not be the most scientific, but it might help you figure out why your bank account is always empty at the end of the month. For more information and to take the test, go to    

Beth Potter can be reached at 303-630-1944 or

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