Solera National Bancorp, Inc. (OTCBB:SLRK), the holding company for Solera National Bank, today reported a small loss of $39,000, or $0.02 per share, in the first quarter of 2012, compared to a loss of $183,000, or $0.07 per share in the first quarter a year ago. Solera earned $166,000, or $0.07 per share in the quarter ended December 31, 2011. Lower gains from sale of securities contributed to the losses in both the first quarters of 2012 and 2011, while improving asset quality and strong capital levels continue to sustain the bank.
“After achieving profitability in six of the past eight quarters, we posted a modest loss in the first quarter,” said Douglas Crichfield, President and Chief Executive Officer. “The greater Denver economy is beginning to show some reasonable improvement, and our loan officers are busy calling on potential customers, spreading the word as to who we are, so that we will be the bank businesses choose when borrowing begins again.”
“We believe the greater Denver market is starting to recover, noting that a recent report from Beacon Hill Institute ranks Colorado as the third-most economically competitive state,” Crichfield added. “And, according to data compiled by the Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation (Metro Denver EDC) in its Monthly Economic Summary for April 2012, ‘With employment growth on the rise, an increase in home sales, and more than twice the number of residential building permits than the same time last year, Metro Denver’s economy is climbing steadily out of post-recession lows.’
“We continue to augment our consumer and business banking services and are now starting to write loans for the new residential mortgage program we launched at the end of 2011,” said Crichfield. “The program fills a gap in the market for home loans that do not conform, because they exceed the dollar amount specified by U.S. government-sponsored agencies. In addition, our SBA lending program has strong potential in the coming years as the Denver economy continues to recover.”