Bangor Savings Issues Fewer Mortgages But Still Posts Record Year

Bangor Savings Bank had another record year for net profit despite falling mortgage applications and fears among economists of an impending recession.

The bank brought in $49.8 million between April 1, 2021 and March 31 this year, according to its recently released 2022 annual report. It was an increase of more than 20% from the previous year, when the bank headquartered on the Bangor waterfront brought in $40.5 million.

Much of that was due to a growing wealth management division, an increase in customer deposits and a solidification of its position as the largest northern New England-based bank, the general manager Bob Montgomery-Rice.

Part of Bangor Savings Bank’s growth has followed the acquisitions of smaller banks in recent years, which has allowed it to expand into New Hampshire and the mid-coast of Maine. Bangor Savings’ most recent acquisition was that of Damariscotta Bank and Trust, announced in December 2019.

The bank’s assets grew 11.9% over the past year to $6.9 billion, according to the annual report.

The bank lent $2 billion between April 1, 2021 and March 31, with residential mortgages accounting for about $1.2 billion of that total.

That was almost 30% less than the previous year, due to rising interest rates, which also discouraged people from refinancing existing loans, and too few properties for the number of people looking to buy, Montgomery-Rice said.

While prices in the Maine real estate market have risen, the number of sales has fallen in recent months and could fall further this summer as the recent Federal Reserve interest rate hike takes hold. The Fed raised interest rates earlier this month as part of an attempt to curb high inflation.

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 5.81% last week, down from 3.02% a year ago.

But while “things have slowed down, they’re still not extremely slow,” Montgomery-Rice said, adding that about 70% of her loans have gone to people seeking residential mortgages and 30% to commercial properties.

The bank registered $200 million in mortgages between April 1 and Monday, 76% of which went to people seeking new mortgages, Montgomery-Rice said.

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