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Solera National Bancorp Earnings Increase 60% To $181,000 In 1Q13; New Residential Mortgage Division Accretive To Earnings

LAKEWOOD, Colo., April 29, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Solera National Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB:SLRK), the holding company for Solera National Bank, today reported earnings increased 60% to $181,000, or $0.07 per share for the first quarter of 2013, compared to $113,000, or $0.04 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2012. First quarter profits were driven by increased loan demand and solid credit quality.

"Our substantial expansion into the residential mortgage market at the end of last year is proving to be a sound investment, generating $52 million in loan originations in the first quarter of 2013, in line with expectations," said Douglas Crichfield, President and Chief Executive Officer. "And, in spite of initial start-up costs expended to launch our mortgage division, that operation was profitable for the first quarter of 2013."

"We recently announced our Preferred Lender status with the U.S. Government's Small Business Administration (SBA) lending program. Our Preferred Lender status will allow us to streamline the loan approval process and expand our commercial lending reach to small and medium sized businesses," added Crichfield. "With this Preferred Lender designation, we are able to make final credit decisions in-house, speeding up the whole lending process. We are proud to be an SBA Preferred Lender, and look forward to continuing to provide our clients with exceptional service."

First Quarter 2013 Highlights (at or for the period ended March 31, 2013, except as noted)
  • In February 2013, Solera announced it will acquire approximately $12 million in core deposits from Liberty Savings Bank. This transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2013.
  • Solera National Bank received its SBA Preferred Lender status from the U.S. Government's Small Business Administration (SBA) on April 12, 2013.
  • Net income increased 60% to $181,000, from the preceding quarter, primarily due to the increase in noninterest income which was bolstered by $1.5 million in gains from the sale of loans, primarily due to our residential mortgage division.
  • Total revenue increased to $2.7 million in the first quarter of 2013, up from $1.1 million in the first quarter of 2012.
  • Gross loans increased 17%, or $9.2 million, to $64.2 million from the like quarter a year ago, and grew 8%, or $4.6 million, from the fourth quarter 2012.
  • Total deposits increased 4% to $123.5 million, and noninterest-bearing demand deposits grew 8%, compared to a year ago.
  • The Bank's capital ratios significantly exceed regulatory requirements for a well-capitalized financial institution with total risk-based capital at 17.1%
  • Tangible book value, excluding unrealized gains on securities, improved to $7.48 per share up from $7.25 per share a year earlier.

2013 Metro Denver Economic Update

The Metro Denver Economic Development Corporation stated that, "The Metro Denver residential real estate market will continue to outperform the nation with decreasing foreclosures, increasing home prices, and strong new construction activity. The region continues to be a highly attractive place to live and do business, as evidenced by existing company expansions and the attraction of several major new corporate players."

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