Loan Portfolio Grows 14% at Cortland Bank

By James M. Gasior, president and CEO

COARTLAND, Ohio – Cortland Bank, an independent community bank since 1892 based in Cortland, Ohio, ended a very successful 2018. As the bank executed its strategic plan, earnings at year end 2018 rose to a record level.

In 2018, total average deposits for the bank grew by 6%, highlighted by strong demand deposit growth of over 10%. The bank’s average loan portfolio grew by more than 14%, led by 12% average growth in commercial and industrial loans and 16% average growth in commercial real estate loans.

The bank, rated five stars by Bauer Financial Inc., operates across Trumbull, Mahoning, Portage, Ashtabula and Summit counties, with a financial services center in Fairlawn. Since opening in 2017, the Hudson location has recorded more than $68 million in loan balances and $18 million in new deposits.

The bank is positioned to open its 14th branch in Strongsville. Slated to open in the first quarter, this branch will offer consumer and personal banking services, mortgage lending, commercial lending, private banking and treasury management.

The Kasasa checking account program, which rewards account holders with an attractive interest rate of 2%, continues to drive growth in consumer deposits for the bank, generating over $3.9 million in new deposits in 2018. The bank plans to introduce new, higher rate products in the first quarter.

The mortgage lending team closed over $63 million in residential real estate loans in 2018. The team continues to grow in the Mahoning Valley and in Hudson and plans to add personnel in the Strongsville market. Cortland Bank offers a physician mortgage loan program and is a participating lender in the Communities First Down Payment Assistance program that provides assistance grants to eligible homebuyers.

2018 marked the beginning of a multiyear project to renovate all branch locations. When completed, all offices will have a fresh, modern look that compliments the 2016 rebranding project. The bank also invested in new ATMs for all locations and upgraded all debit cards to incorporate chip technology. And the bank partnered with QuickBooks for enhanced online reporting for commercial treasury management customers.

Cortland Bank launched a web-based, financial education initiative through a partnership with EverFi, an education technology innovation firm. The program is available on Cortland Bank’s website as a complimentary resource. The bank also implemented a blog on its website, featuring tips on savings, credit cards and scores, budgeting and planning, small business topics and more.

We provide volunteers and financial support to local schools, nonprofits and community-based organizations including United Way, Second Harvest Food Bank and Junior Achievement. Bank leadership has taken an interest in the higher education and workforce development missions of Upward Bound programs at Eastern Gateway Community College and Kent State.

In 2018, the bank partnered with the Tech Belt Energy Innovation Center in Warren and the Mahoning Valley Economic Development Corp. to sponsor a learning event for small-business owners and entrepreneurs.

The bank supports economic growth initiatives by partnering with multiple chambers of commerce. Cortland Bank is a proponent of housing programs for low- to moderate-income individuals, demonstrated by our relationship with the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.