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Evans Bancorp reports 7 percent rise in loans fueled by investments

Evans Bancorp says its investments are paying off, in the form of more loans.

In the second quarter, the Hamburg-based bank had loans of $711 million, up by 7 percent from a year ago. Evans officials attributed the growth to its continued investment in new employees and technology systems.

“As we’ve grown, you need to add the people,” said David J. Nasca, president and CEO of Evans. “The technology is the foundational piece that is required to support that growth.”

The bank over time has added loan officers and other positions, most of whom are revenue producers. “We talked about making strategic investments in people over the past couple of years, so a lot of those investments we’ve made in lenders and so on are now paying off,” said Gary A. Kajtoch, executive vice president and chief financial officer.

Nasca said the loan growth was fueled by a combination of commercial real estate loans – largely for multifamily housing – and commercial and industrial loans, mainly by manufacturers investing in their operations. “I think there’s good confidence that leads people to make strategic investments,” Nasca said.

The bank recorded second-quarter net income of $1.7 million, essentially flat from a year ago. It had earnings per share of 39 cents, up from 37 cents a year ago.

Evans reported net interest income of $7.6 million, essentially the same as a year ago, and $3.5 million in non-interest income, which rose from $3.1 million last year.

“I think we’re very pleased with where we stand competitively,” Nasca said. “We’re winning business, which is allowing us to grow and offset some of these margin challenges. That will bode well for us as we continue to go forward.”

Next month, Evans plans to reopen its rebuilt branch in Lancaster, which had been destroyed by fire. Evans has been operating an interim branch on the site.