West Virginia-based banks see asset growth - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

West Virginia-based banks see asset growth

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Lorraine L. Brisell was not surprised to hear that most banks with the greatest asset growth in West Virginia last year were based in counties where oil and gas activity is highest.

"This has been a bank that has always been involved in the oil and gas business, the highs and lows," said Brisell, president and CEO of Cornerstone Bank in West Union, which is located in Doddridge County.

Of the 62 banks based in West Virginia, Cornerstone was eighth highest in net asset growth, but it ranked high on percentage growth, too, at 21 percent.

West Virginia-based banks saw their total assets increase 4 percent last year, according to data compiled and released by the FDIC.

The 62 banks that are based in the Mountain State had assets of about $28.53 billion as of Dec. 31, 2013, an increase of about $980 million from the same date a year earlier, according to financial reports the banks filed with the FDIC.

The three banks with the greatest net asset growth — City National Bank of West Virginia, MVB Bank and United Bank — also were the banks that were aggressive with merger and acquisition activity in northern Virginia.

Of the 62 banks, 35 saw increases in total assets while 27 showed decreases. The largest decrease was reported by First State Bank of Barboursville, which went from $283.6 million at the end of 2011 to $313.7 million in 2012 to $271.6 million in 2013.

After City National, the next seven banks on the list of those with the most net growth of assets were in the northern part of the state. Those were MVB Bank in Fairmont; United Bank in Parkersburg; WesBanco Bank, Progressive Bank and Main Street Bank Corp., all in Wheeling; Clear Mountain Bank in Bruceton Mills; and Cornerstone Bank. 

"All of our growth is obtained through local deposits," Brisell said. "It's a very loyal customer base.

"We have enjoyed steady growth over the years. It's planned growth, so it's manageable growth."

Cornerstone has not sought out-of-area deposits, and it has not sought acquisitions, Brisell said. She added that if the right opportunity comes along, Cornerstone would consider an acquisition, but it's not something the bank is actively pursuing.

On the other side of that, Cornerstone has heard of interest by other companies of acquiring it, but there have been no direct inquiries lately, Brisell said.

"We'll be the last community bank surviving when it's all said and done," she said.

All banks but one reported positive net income for the fourth quarter of 2013. The one reporting a net loss was the Bank of Mingo, with a loss of $498,000. 

Banks reporting the highest net earnings were the largest banks: WesBanco with $66.39 million, United with $61.99 million, City National with $49.43 million and Summit Community Bank of Moorefield with $9.61 million.

WesBanco also had the most deposits with $5.1 billion, followed by United, $4.2 billion, City National with $2.8 billion and Summit with $1 billion.

First Federal Savings and Loan Association of Ravenswood easily kept its distinction as being the state's smallest bank. It reported assets of $15.8 million, which was an increase of about $1.7 million, or 12 percent, from the year before.

There was one company that filed a call report with the FDIC as a bank, although it does not list any deposits. Security National Trust Co. of Wheeling listed $4.4 million in assets. Security National Trust's website describes the company as a full-service fiduciary that serves people, nonprofits and business with personal trust services, investment management, retirement plans, foundations and endowments.