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Evans Bank sets profits record in 2016

Evans Bancorp had a record-setting 2016.

The Hamburg-based bank said Monday its full-year profits reached a record high of $8.3 million, increasing more than 5 percent from 2015, and eclipsing its record of $8.2 million, set in 2014.

David J. Nasca, Evans' president and CEO, said about 30 percent of the bank's loan and deposit growth last year was the result of market disruption caused by KeyCorp's deal for First Niagara Financial Group. The bank's loan portfolio grew by 22 percent, as the bank diversified its base of business customers. Last month, Evans raised an additional $14 million in capital, from selling 440,000 additional shares.

"We think we've got momentum going into 2017 and into the second year of our strategic plan," Nasca said. "We think we're in a good place in our development to be prepared for the opportunities, but also to take advantage of them."

Evans finished the year on a strong note, with a 33 percent increase in its net income in the fourth quarter from a year ago.

While Key has completed its deal for First Niagara, and Northwest has converted 18 First Niagara branches to its own brand, Nasca said he believes Evans can still capitalize on that market disruption.

"We believe that the deposit opportunity will play out over the next six to nine months, but we believe loans take longer [to make changes], and we think that opportunity goes anywhere from nine to 18 to 24 months from here," he said.

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