First Independent posts $2.8M quarterly profit

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First Independent Bank reported Thursday second-quarter income of $2.8 million, compared with a $709,000 loss in the second quarter of 2010. For the year to date, the privately held Vancouver bank’s earnings now stand at $7.4 million.

The bank’s assets dropped $38 million to $796 million in the quarter. Loan balances dropped by $24 million. Capital reserves of 16.9 percent exceeded the 10 percent requirement for banks to be designated as well capitalized.

Steve Bernhoft, executive vice president and chief financial officer, said the weak economy continues to reduce demand for loans by qualified buyers and increase competition among banks. He said that $900,000 of the reported profit was transferred from reserves, which the bank was able to do because of the improved quality of its outstanding loans.

The bank is preparing to open a branch in downtown Portland early next year.