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Peoples Bank's parent earns greater 2Q profit

Peoples Bank's parent earns greater 2Q profit

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NorthWest Indiana Bancorp posted a $1.6 million profit in the second quarter, which is the highest earnings level for the Munster-based company since the third quarter of 2008.

The holding company for Munster-based Peoples Bank said last week it had a profit of $1.6 million, or 57 cents per share, in the three months that ended June 30. In the second quarter of 2009, the bank earned $1.1 million, or 37 cents per share.

Peoples Bank Chairman and CEO David Bochnowski said the company continues to "report strong operating results despite the uncertainties of the current economic environment."

Keeping operating expenses stable, increasing growth in checking, savings and money market accounts, and increasing income from banking operations helped drive growth for the bank, he said.

Bochnowski said the bank is betting that as the economy recovers, interest rates are primed to rise. And as a result, he said the institution is continuing to sell fixed rate loans to the secondary mortgage market. The bank's lending portfolio totaled $442.5 million as of June 30, which is down $15.8 million from the end of 2009.

As of June 30, Peoples Bank held $690 million in assets and $570.2 million in deposits. Peoples Bank has 11 locations and plans to open an office in St. John this fall. Bochnowski said plans are being developed for further banking center expansion in 2011.

The bank declared a 21 cent per share dividend in the second quarter, which was unchanged from the first quarter. NorthWest Indiana Bancorp shares, which are traded over the counter, stood unchanged Wednesday at $18.

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