Columbia Bank reports record loan production; quarterly dividend up

Tacoma-based Columbia Bank on Thursday released its first-quarter earnings report showing a record level of loan production measured against an increased provision for loan losses.

Among “very positive outcomes” in the quarter, Columbia President and CEO Melanie Dressel noted both the increase in loans and “meaningful expense control.”

Among the data released Thursday:

▪ Net interest income for the quarter was $80.2 million, a decrease of $1.6 million from the end of the fourth quarter.

▪ Total assets, at $9.04 billion, were up $84.2 million from the end of December.

▪ Loan production, which was centered on commercial loans, grew by $62.3 million during the quarter, “driven by strong loan originations of $254 million,” according to a Columbia release.

▪ The level of nonaccrual loans rose over the quarter from $21.46 million at the end of December to $36.89 million.

▪ The bank recorded a net provision for loan and lease losses of $5.3 million, compared with a net provision of $1.2 million for the same quarter last year. The provision for loan and lease losses “was due to net charge-off activity, $3.5 million of which stemmed from two commercial business loans, and organic loan growth,” Andy McDonald, Columbia’s executive vice president and chief credit officer, stated. “We are still satisfied with how our loan portfolio is behaving.”

On Wednesday, the Columbia board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 19 cents per share, representing a 6 percent increase over the dividend paid in the same quarter last year. The board also approved a special cash dividend of 18 cents per share, representing the company’s ninth consecutive quarterly special cash dividend.

C.R. Roberts: 253-597-8535