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Bank of N.D. posts $94M profit for 10th straight record year

BISMARCK – The Bank of North Dakota posted its 10th consecutive year of record profits in 2013 and will likely surpass $100 million in earnings this year, bank President Eric Hardmeyer said Monday.

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The state-owned bank reported $94.2 million in earnings last year. That’s roughly a 15 percent increase over earnings of $81.6 million in 2012 and a $60 million increase over the bank’s profits in 2004.

The bank’s total assets have more than tripled since 2004, from $2 billion to $6.8 billion, and increased nearly 12 percent over 2012. Equity also grew by 19 percent, to $552 million.

“So everything is bigger than last year, which is a good thing,” Hardmeyer said while presenting the bank’s annual report to the three-member Industrial Commission, which supervises the bank. The commission is made up of Gov. Jack Dalrymple,. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring.

Robust activity in the energy sector and a strong run for agriculture the past few years have boosted tax collections, which form the deposit base for the bank, Hardmeyer said.

“So, as the state goes, so goes the bank,” he said in an interview after the meeting.

Hardmeyer said that while the state has “been on a tear the last few years” and he expects revenue growth to continue, spending on infrastructure and other needs also is increasing, cutting into the bank’s deposits.

“So we are projecting for this year kind of a flattening of our deposits,” he said. “I think profits will continue to rise for the next several years.”

The bank financed 309 business and industrial projects last year while partnering with local financial institutions. It also expanded two loan programs to encourage the startup and expansion of childcare facilities.

Dalrymple called it a “great year” for the bank and said in a news release that the state will continue to leverage the bank’s resources to drive economic development and enhance quality of life.

Established by the Legislature in 1919, the Bank of North Dakota is the nation’s only state-owned bank. About 40 percent of the its lending is commercial loans, followed by student loans at 32 percent, residential loans at 18 percent and agricultural loans at 10 percent.

During the first quarter of this year, the bank took in about $300 million more in deposits than budgeted, while assets climbed to more than $7.4 billion and earnings totaled nearly $29 million.

“I think we will be beyond $100 million this year in profits,” Hardmeyer said.  

Mike Nowatzki

Mike Nowatzki reports for Forum News Service. He can be reached at (701) 255-5607.