Business Outlook: Cortland Banks expands business lines; continues to grow loan portfolio

January 18, 2013
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CORTLAND (1/18/13) - Cortland Banks takes great pride in its more than 120-year history as a community bank. Recently rated 5-Stars by BauerFinancial Inc., Cortland Banks continues to strive to provide its customers with the highest quality of integrated financial services.  Through strategic initiatives, the Bank has grown its loan portfolio in each of the last three years, with 2012 resulting in an overall composite growth rate exceeding 10%.  Management continues to emphasize quality growth in both commercial real estate and commercial and industrial loan types.  The commercial team, led by Chief Lending Officer Stan Feret, and a team of experienced loan advisors, continues to excel in providing financial solutions to businesses in a broad range of industries.  Banking relationship products such as, business checking, cash management and remote deposit capture services are also being utilized by an increasing percentage of business customers.  Commitment to core commercial and business banking relationships resulted in commercial deposit growth of more than14% and commercial loan growth of 17% for the recent annual period.

While strategically aligning its balance sheet for profitability, management has positioned itself to take advantage of the robust residential real estate refinance market.  CSB Mortgage Company, Inc. was formed in 2011 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Cortland Banks and provides an important source of income diversification.  CSB Mortgage purchases high quality mortgage loans originated by mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, banks and credit units in the Midwest for sale on the secondary market.

The Bank is utilizing CSB Mortgage to increase its own retail mortgage lending activities, by adding experienced mortgage loan origination officers to its growing base of Bank employees.  The mortgage officers are originating residential real estate loans for sale on the secondary market as well as for the Bank’s own residential real estate portfolio.  The Company plans to continue to add mortgage originators throughout the state and is exploring opportunities to add mortgage origination services in the Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus Ohio areas.

The Bank remains committed to continuously improving the overall customer experience and its product and services line up. In 2012, Executive Management hired Danielle Cantrell as the Bank’s new VP, Retail Banking Manager, to oversee the retail team, which will focus on the growth of retail loans and deposits, along with business banking. With a renewed focus on retail and business relationships, additional commitments have been made to promote merchant and payroll services, which will supplement remote deposit options, mobile banking, bill pay and debit/ATM  card products.  Later this year, the Bank plans to announce mobile check deposit services to its customers, as it continues to explore emerging technologies as an alternate delivery system thereby complimenting its branch banking delivery network.

Through a partnership with Investment Professionals Inc., during 2012, Cortland Banks formed the Cortland Investment Group to provide investment and other non-bank deposit product financial advisory services.  With Bank deposit customers also challenged to grow interest earnings in the current rate environment, the initiative to add investment and wealth management services to its core deposit product offerings was pursued to provide another relationship-based product and service offering to banking customers.  In the short time since its launch, The Cortland Investment Group, has prompted considerable interest from bank and non-bank customers, including some which benefited from the execution of shale gas leases and seek wealth accumulation and tax strategy advice.

As a local community bank, Cortland Banks is involved in funding a number of community projects, such as The Raymond John Wean Foundation’s new building in downtown Warren. In addition to funding projects, the Bank continues to participate and has supported an array of community programs and sponsorships. Cortland Banks also recently began expanding its presence in its communities with employees visiting local schools to present fun, captivating financial literacy curriculum.

 For more information, please contact:
Sara A. Smith
Assistant Vice President
Marketing & Communications Director
Cortland Banks
194 W. Main Street
Cortland, OH 44410
330.637.8040 ext. 132
ssmith@cortland-banks.com

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