Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Taking Summit Higher: Okla. Bank Officials Anticipate Growth

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Taking Summit Higher: Okla. Bank Officials Anticipate Growth

Article excerpt

With a solid fourth quarter filling its sails, Summit Bank enters its 10th year anticipating double-digit growth.

Chief Lending Officer and Chief Operating Officer James L. "Gip" Gibson said the bank finished 2011 with a 20-percent rise in net income to $2.6 million. Its loans grew 15 percent to $180 million, while its deposits rose 7 percent to $186 million.

"We felt like it was a good year," he said in an interview. "That was a return on assets of approximately 1.3 percent."

With a full-service branch established in Oklahoma City, the $220 million bank considers the Sooner State economy strong enough to support several years of double-digit loan growth. Gibson limited his actual predictions to 15 percent in 2012, since that's the extent of his current budget. But if the economy holds, he said Summit could double its loan portfolio over the next five years.

"We have a foundation in place really that would support a bank three or four times our size, so we feel good about our growth prospects," said Gibson, who joined Summit's staff in September. "Obviously you pray that the economy continues to improve, but we have been very fortunate here in the state of Oklahoma."

Summit's former Oklahoma City loan production office now accounts for about 10 percent of the bank's total loan portfolio. Gibson anticipates that six-employee branch will generate 35 to 40 percent of Summit's overall loan growth this year.

"We're seeing a lot more opportunities in the general business," said Charlie Crouse, president of the Oklahoma City branch at 1001 NW 63rd St. "We're pretty positive."

With Summit being a business and professional bank, focused on relationships and service, Gibson said Oklahoma's surging oil and gas sector comprises about 10 percent of its loan portfolio.

"We're a community bank in this market that has significant expertise in the energy sector, a lot of experience on our board relative to oil and gas," he said. "Several of our officers, including (Chief Executive and founder) Wade (Edmundson), are very experienced in oil and gas. So as a community bank, it's unique that we can bring that expertise to the table. …

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