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Peoples Bank has grown profits by 3.8 percent this year

Munster-based Peoples Bank grew profits by 3.8 percent over the first nine months of the year.

Munster-based NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, the parent company of Peoples Bank, reported its profit dipped by 3.4 percent to $2.2 million in the third quarter, down from $2.3 million in the second quarter of 2016.

Peoples Bank has, however, increased profits by 3.8 percent over the first nine months of the year. The bank's net income totaled $7.1 million through the end of September, as compared to $6.8 percent through the same period the previous year.

“Strong year-to-date results come from the overall execution of the Bancorp’s strategic plan. Return On Assets was up 1 basis point from the prior period, and reflects overall enhancements to income. The Bank also added to its lending and wealth management teams, paving the way for further growth in the future,” President and CEO Benjamin Bochnowski said. “We continue to grow our capital base, which we feel provides us ample resources to support our growth goals.”

The bank, which has assets of $916.3 million, earned $2.47 per share through the period that ended on Sept. 30.

“The Bancorp’s earnings increase for the first nine months of 2017 was supported by its ability to profitably grow net interest income. For the current year, the net interest margin on a tax equivalent basis is 3.84 percent. Commercial loan growth of 5.8 percent and well managed funding costs contributed to the strong net interest margin,” Chief Financial Officer Robert Lowry said. “Asset quality remains strong, as nonperforming loans to total loans remains under 1 percent.”

Peoples Bank grew loans by $24.3 million, or 4.2 percent, in the third quarter. So far this year, the bank has originated $246 million in new loans.

Deposits dropped to $584.7 million at the end of September, down from $594.1 million the previous year. The bank attributed the decrease of 1.6 percent on expected withdrawals from municipal accounts.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.