Customers Bank will boost business lending

New loans to apartment developers and mortgage orginators helped boost profits for Customers Bancorp.

Customers yesterday reported record profits of $7.6 million/40 cents a share for the last quarter of 2012, and $23.8 million, or $1.73 a share, for the year, compared to $4 million/39 cents in 2011. Deposits grew to $2.4 billion, up from $1.6 billion. Customers says 4q returns on assets was 1.06%, up from 0.66% a year earlier. Return on equity was 11.32%, up from 8.47%. 

Customers was cobbled together by Jay Sidhu from a series of poorly-performing Northestern U.S. banking operations after he was forced out of Sovereign Bank by a badly-timed revolt by activist shareholders, 

In a statement, Sidhu said net loans rose to $2.7 billion from $1.5 billion a year earlier; deposits grow to $2.4 billion, from $1.6 billion. He did not provide pro-forma numbers that would show how much of the growth was organic, and how much from acquisitions.

Customers boosted warehouse loans to mortgage originators; it also reported "very good growth in multifamily [apartment developers and purchasers] and commercial real estate lending, and we expect to continue growing these lines of business," added Customers chief financial officer James Hogan. "Commercial and industrial lending was also strong in the fourth quarter of 2012 and we plan to expand this line of business in 2013." The bank employs around 255.