Columbia Bank President and CEO Melanie Dressel on Wednesday reported annual results to employees and shareholders, and those results were not unfamiliar.
Things are going well and continue to improve, Dressel said, and Columbia bankers are working hard to preserve and expand the bank’s good fortune.
Columbia Board Chairman William Weyerhaeuser began the meeting by explaining “2015 was a successful and significant year for your company as the bank continues to expand and strengthen our relationships with our customers.”
Dressel countered criticism that Columbia had become too large by saying, “We firmly believe that we are a true community bank,” and she outlined the importance of local management and the ability of local Columbia bankers to make major decisions.
Among the information and data presented at Columbia’s annual meeting at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center: Net income for 2015 ended the year at $98.8 million, up from $81.5 million in 2014. Troubled loans, which reached $16.5 million at the end of 2014, fell to $9.39 million at the close of 2015. For the second consecutive year, loan growth exceeded $1 billion, making 2015 “a truly remarkable year,” said Executive Vice President and COO Hadley Robbins.
Under “initiatives and opportunities,” Robbins went on to list commercial banking, retail banking and wealth management as targets, as well as Small Business Administration lending “that we want to grow significantly,” small-business lending, merchant card services and residential mortgages.