Annual Meeting of the Shareholders
The 2004 Annual Meeting of the Shareholders of Castle Bank and Trust Company was held in the boardroom of Castle Bank at 100 Hanover Street at 10:00 am on Tuesday, June 15, 2004.
Dear Shareholders of Castle Bank,
Although Castle Bank grew both our deposit and loan portfolios in 2003, the historically low interest rate environment continued to hurt our earnings. The impact of extraordinarily rapid repayments of higher yielding loans and securities, and the resulting compression of our net interest margin, produced a net loss in 2003 of $86,378. On a more positive note, we have continued to show extraordinary growth in our non-interest income, excluding securities gains, increasing 46% to $214,265.
Loan growth was significant, increasing our portfolio by 36.6% to $32,370,011. Deposits increased 13.3% to $39,976,793. This continued growth is an important factor in building our future profitability. Castle Bank continued to add products and services for our customers during the past year. We created a strategic partnership with Altara Mortgage Corporation and through them provide residential mortgages to our customers. We have introduced a full line of Savings Bank Life Insurance (SBLI) products. In addition to our debit card, we now offer credit cards for both business and retail customers. To gain insight into the business potential and needs of the Hispanic business community, we created an Hispanic Advisory Committee comprised of noted central Connecticut Hispanic professionals and business owners.
During 2003, we added Ky�ng Wilson to our management team as Vice President of Retail Banking and also strengthened our Board of Directors with the addition of Donald Bidwell, Sr., owner of Bidwell Industrial Group and former Chairman of the Board of Liberty Bank. Our senior management team continued to hold leadership roles on the Boards of MEDCO, the Greater Meriden Chamber of Commerce, the United Way of Meriden-Wallingford, MidState Medical Center and the Rotary Clubs of Meriden and Kensington.
Looking to the future, we have begun a major consumer initiative to increase our customer base. Marketing plans will also focus on 2004 as our 5th Anniversary year. We also plan to implement internet banking service for both business and retail customers during the 3rd and 4th quarters.
We thank you for your support during the past year. We expect that with the overdue rise in interest rates, added to the business base we have established and with our continued effort and never ending focus on customer service, we will regain positive momentum and profitability.
Lawrence M. McGoldrick
President and Chief Executive Officer
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
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