Aug19

Fewer discouraging words from St. Louis bankers

Categories // In The News

August 19, 2013

 Reporter- St. Louis Business Journal

Last week’s Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis report on second-quarter results at 85 local banks was concrete evidence of continuing improvement in the banking industry, but I’m also hearing a lot more optimism in the words of bankers I talk with.

Here are snippets of what I’ve heard:

“Bank loan portfolios are improving” — Tom Brouster, chairman, Reliance Bank.

“More borrowers have … improved their balance sheet and income statements” — David Minton, president and chief executive, Heartland Bank.

“The trends are improving” — Bob Stroh, chairman, chief executive and CFO of Tempo Bank in Trenton, Ill.

“Commercial loan proposals are starting to return” — Larry Ziglar, president, First National Bank in Staunton, Ill.

The 85 banks reported 18 percent higher profits in the first half of the year, to a combined $245 million from $208 million in the first half last year.

“It’s pretty much a good news story,” said Julie Stackhouse, senior vice president at the St. Louis Fed.