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VOL. 127 | NO. 235 | Monday, December 3, 2012

Triumph Bank Reports 15th Straight Profit

By Andy Meek

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Triumph Bank has enjoyed one of the most consistent success stories among Memphis-area community banks.

Triumph, which was founded in 2005, has reported its 15th straight quarterly profit, meaning even 2008’s Great Recession was not enough to ding Triumph’s prospects.

The bank’s pre-tax earnings for the third quarter topped $1 million for the first time and represented a 60 percent increase over the second quarter and a 67 percent increase over the same quarter in 2011.

Positive signs also were exhibited by several other metrics. Triumph’s year-to-date pretax earnings are up 42 percent over the same period last year, with the increased income driven by growth in net interest income and non-interest income.

Triumph’s year-to-date provision for loan losses also has not increased much over the past year. The bank’s expenses are up, but Triumph’s leadership says that’s part of a growth plan.

“As we noted in last quarter’s report, our expenses have increased primarily due to the hiring of new employees and new facilities,” wrote Triumph president and CEO Will Chase and chief operating officer Mike McCarver in a letter to shareholders. “During 3Q2012, we began to realize the growth we had anticipated from these moves.

“During 3Q2012, our loans grew over $13 million, or 5 percent. Our investment securities also grew by a like amount. After breaking through $350 million in total assets in 2Q2012, we stayed above that level every day in the month of September. As our balance sheet grew, our efficiency also increased. This is exhibited in improved returns on assets and equity.”

The executives went on to point out that Triumph’s asset quality held up in several categories during the quarter. There was only one loan more than 30 days past due, for $37,000.

The purposeful expenses around new employees and facilities included in the first half of the year hiring 12 employees and acquiring a new Germantown banking office at the corner of West and North streets. Triumph also is pursuing a five-year goal of doubling the size of the bank.

Chase told The Daily News his bank has been growing by about 20 percent annually.

“We’ve been very blessed,” Chase said. “We have not had the asset quality issues that other people have experienced, which has given us more time to concentrate on getting new customers. We’ve been successful in doing that so far, and we think we can continue the momentum.”

In other recent Triumph news, Chase has been tapped to serve on the Community Bankers Council, a division of the American Bankers Association in Washington. The council’s mission is to advise the American Bankers Association on issues affecting the nation’s community banks and their customers.

During its most recent session in Washington, council members discussed trends in the payments industry, issues surrounding policy compliance and financial services-related patent wars.

The bankers also met with representatives from regulatory agencies including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Federal Reserve Board and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

Chase said the group intends to work toward several goals, including improving the image of community banking.

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