Evans Bank's parent company set a record for profits last year: $10.5 million.
That was despite a one-time $2.1 million charge the Hamburg-based Evans Bancorp absorbed in the fourth quarter related to the federal tax overhaul. As a result, Evans had fourth-quarter profits of only $1 million, compared to $2.3 million a year ago.
Evans president and CEO David J. Nasca said he feels the bank is "really hitting its stride," and expects it to capitalize on the reduced tax rate this year and beyond.
"We've done very well, but this is an additional benefit to all our constituencies," he said.
Evans will give one-time bonuses of $1,000 to 86 percent of its employees, and contributed $300,000 to its foundation, citing the tax overhaul. And Evans is exploring other ways to make community investments, talking to nonprofits, foundations and community groups about ideas.
"We're trying to figure out where the resources that we have will make a meaningful difference, Nasca said.
Evans expects to announce a new chairman in March. John O'Brien is retiring after six years as chairman, effective March 31.
"(O'Brien) had a very firm hand on the rudder," Nasca said. "He was a compassionate chairman. He was a knowledgeable and level-headed leader, and he was a great partner for me."