Banking on four quarters of profitability

The Bank of Virginia branch at 10501 Patterson Avenue.

The Bank of Virginia branch at 10501 Patterson Avenue.

Score another one for the turnaround team.

Bank of Virginia turned a $696,000 profit in 2013, marking its first profitable full calendar year since 2007, according to its financial filings.

And squeaking into the black in the fourth quarter with net income of $5,000 allowed the bank to boast profits in all four quarters for the year.

But there are more than just profits to be recognized, said Jack Zoeller, chief executive of Bank of Virginia and its parent company Cordia Bancorp.

“I actually don’t think that’s the most impressive thing,” Zoeller said of the profitable year. “We’ve rebuilt a bank into one of the highest quality community banks in the state and prepared it to do more.”

Still, the stats are notable notches in the belt for a bank that reported combined tens of millions of dollars in losses between 2008 and 2012 as it was battered by unhealthy levels of souring loans.

Its course began to change when Zoeller and a group of veteran bankers bought a majority stake of the bank and took the reins in 2010.

After its third year under Zoeller and crew, Bank of Virginia has grown to $235.14 million in assets. That total is the largest for the bank since 2009.

Its loan portfolio at the end of 2013 hit $172.5 million, the highest levels ever for the 10-year-old bank. The same can be said for its deposit base, which has grown to $210 million.

Zoeller said the road back has taken patience.

“If you want to compare it a sports franchise, it had a bunch of losing seasons in a row and wasn’t heading in the right direction,” Zoeller said. “Maybe I’m like the [team’s] new general manager and you’ve got to fix the defense first, you’ve got to fix the offense, do it through the draft and bring it all together over a few years.”

In addition to bringing in new management, new board members and new loan officers, the focus has been on cleaning up the bank’s loan portfolio by getting bad assets off the books and then growing it again.

The bank ended 2013 with $5.4 million in nonperforming assets – foreclosed real estate and delinquent loans. That’s down nearly $2 million from the previous year and down from $13.2 million in 2011.

“Our job was to assess it and clean it up. From the point of repairing and rebuilding, we’ve had no material credit losses since way back in 2011,” Zoeller said. “There are no pockets of softness in our credit portfolio, which is rare.”

Zoeller said the bank will continue to let its newer team of seasoned loan officers focus on its bread and butter – commercial loans to small and medium-sized businesses. It will also continue to push commercial real estate loans and it has a national student loan program that has helped drive more income.

And Zoeller is thinking about the bank’s potential for geographical growth.

“We would like to have a larger presence in the Greater Richmond area. We would like to have a larger presence in Virginia, that’s our name after all.”

 

The Bank of Virginia branch at 10501 Patterson Avenue.

The Bank of Virginia branch at 10501 Patterson Avenue.

Score another one for the turnaround team.

Bank of Virginia turned a $696,000 profit in 2013, marking its first profitable full calendar year since 2007, according to its financial filings.

And squeaking into the black in the fourth quarter with net income of $5,000 allowed the bank to boast profits in all four quarters for the year.

But there are more than just profits to be recognized, said Jack Zoeller, chief executive of Bank of Virginia and its parent company Cordia Bancorp.

“I actually don’t think that’s the most impressive thing,” Zoeller said of the profitable year. “We’ve rebuilt a bank into one of the highest quality community banks in the state and prepared it to do more.”

Still, the stats are notable notches in the belt for a bank that reported combined tens of millions of dollars in losses between 2008 and 2012 as it was battered by unhealthy levels of souring loans.

Its course began to change when Zoeller and a group of veteran bankers bought a majority stake of the bank and took the reins in 2010.

After its third year under Zoeller and crew, Bank of Virginia has grown to $235.14 million in assets. That total is the largest for the bank since 2009.

Its loan portfolio at the end of 2013 hit $172.5 million, the highest levels ever for the 10-year-old bank. The same can be said for its deposit base, which has grown to $210 million.

Zoeller said the road back has taken patience.

“If you want to compare it a sports franchise, it had a bunch of losing seasons in a row and wasn’t heading in the right direction,” Zoeller said. “Maybe I’m like the [team’s] new general manager and you’ve got to fix the defense first, you’ve got to fix the offense, do it through the draft and bring it all together over a few years.”

In addition to bringing in new management, new board members and new loan officers, the focus has been on cleaning up the bank’s loan portfolio by getting bad assets off the books and then growing it again.

The bank ended 2013 with $5.4 million in nonperforming assets – foreclosed real estate and delinquent loans. That’s down nearly $2 million from the previous year and down from $13.2 million in 2011.

“Our job was to assess it and clean it up. From the point of repairing and rebuilding, we’ve had no material credit losses since way back in 2011,” Zoeller said. “There are no pockets of softness in our credit portfolio, which is rare.”

Zoeller said the bank will continue to let its newer team of seasoned loan officers focus on its bread and butter – commercial loans to small and medium-sized businesses. It will also continue to push commercial real estate loans and it has a national student loan program that has helped drive more income.

And Zoeller is thinking about the bank’s potential for geographical growth.

“We would like to have a larger presence in the Greater Richmond area. We would like to have a larger presence in Virginia, that’s our name after all.”

 

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