STATEMENT OF CONDITION
Dear Valued Clients:
During the last year, Security Bank’s growth continued at a steady pace. Total gross loan volume has progressively grown to $88 million and deposits have tapered off at $98 million. With excellent earnings, our capital increased to in excess of $12 million, providing a very strong equity position. Our emphasis continues to be directed toward generating high quality loans and investments, which benefit the communities we serve.
The Ag market continues to be the strength in our area and farmland continues to sell at record high prices but the upcoming year may cause some challenges for our local farmers. They were fortunate to harvest a respectable crop this past fall despite the continued dry pattern however commodity prices have declined putting a damper on profitability compared to the last several years. Input costs and cash rent will also be a key factor as they are generally slower to react to the falling market prices.
Unfortunately for our CD investors, interest rates have remained at historically low levels, which in turn has been a benefit for our borrowers. The Federal Reserve announced that it plans to keep Fed Fund target interest rates low as long as the unemployment rate is above 6.5 percent. They do not expect the unemployment rate to reach 6.5 percent until the end of 2015. Many took advantage of the all-time low interest rates to refinance or purchase a new home but mortgage rates continue to be on the rise.
Governmental oversight and involvement continues to increase in the banking industry. As your local community bank, we have and will continue to deal with and insulate you from the ever changing red tape as best we can. We may have to ask for an extra piece of information or for one more signature as time goes on, but we will always try to fulfill your personal, agricultural, and business banking needs with the single goal of “Exceeding Client’s Expectations” in mind.
There seems to be a rise in unauthorized access to payment card data at U.S. retail stores. Each time Security Bank is notified of a possible compromise, we quickly take action and order new debit cards for our clients that have been affected to mitigate any possible risks. It is also important to obtain free yearly copies of your credit reports. You are entitled to one free report from each of the credit reporting agencies.
We are happy to offer another piece of protection against fraud on your Debit Card or Health Savings Debit Card. SHAZAM BOLT$ is a free mobile application and email alerting service that empowers you, the cardholder, to help detect fraud on your account through your smartphone, tablet, or home computer. With this free mobile application, you can set alerts for what would be unusual activity for you and if a transaction occurs that meets the alert criteria, you will receive a notification so you can quickly take action if the transaction is fraudulent.
As we enter our 115th year, our dedicated and service-oriented team continues to promote and facilitate the growth of Security Savings Bank. They are the key to our success and each member of our team strives to provide quality service and solutions to promote our clients’ success and to achieve long-term relationships and profitability for our Bank. We thank them for their efforts and we thank you, our clients, for your loyalty and continued relationship with Security Bank.
I wish you the best for 2014.
Kent J. Rutherford