The Munster-based holding company for Peoples Bank said Friday its earnings in 2012 were up 27.3 percent and the institution set a record for profits earned.
NorthWest Indiana Bancorp had net income $1.6 million, or 57 cents per share, in the three months that ended Dec. 31, compared to $1.4 million, or 50 cents per share, in the comparable 2011 period. Net income for the company last year was $6.9 million, beating a previous high by about $200,000.
David Bochnowski, chairman, president and CEO of Peoples Bank, said "loan and core deposit growth, improved asset quality, increased income from banking operations and stable operating expenses" helped drive earnings growth in 2012. Deposits in bank checking, savings and money market accounts rose 12.8 percent last year from 2011.
Improved economic conditions helped the bank lower its provision for loan losses to nearly $2.4 million in 2012 from $3.5 million in 2011. Total interest income dipped by $911,000 to $26.1 million in 2012 from a year earlier while noninterest expenses rose about 1 percent to $20.1 million.
The bank's return on equity was 9.31 percent in the fourth quarter, up from 8.86 percent in the same period as 2011.
"As the national and local economies continue to show signs of recovery, our capital strength and core earnings position Peoples Bank to act on growth opportunities to expand our operations and better serve our customers and community,” Bochnowski said.