Bank Of Butterfield 2021 First Quarter Earnings

April 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

The Bank of Butterfield announced financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2021.

“Net income and core net income1 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 were $41.6 million, or $0.83 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $40.3 million, or $0.77 per diluted common share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and core net income1 of $40.8 million, or $0.78 per diluted common share, for the three months ended March 31, 2020,” a statement from the bank said.

“The core return on average tangible common equity1 for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was 19.3%, compared to core return on average tangible common equity1 18.6% for the three months ended March 31, 2020. The efficiency ratio for the three months ended March 31, 2021 was 64.8% compared with 64.1% for the three months ended March 31, 2020 and compared with the core efficiency ratio1 of 63.8% for the three months ended March 31, 2020.”

Michael Collins, Butterfield’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer commented, “The first quarter of 2021 was a positive start to the year, with solid non-interest income, favorable expense trends, continued focus on capital management, and a constructive interest rate outlook. We continue to target top quartile risk adjusted returns, while maintaining a strong return and credit risk profile.

“As our core markets begin to recover, we remain confident that our strong risk discipline and underwriting expertise has reduced the residual risk of credit losses. We continue to actively communicate with our clients, responding quickly to instances of payment difficulties and working with clients to find a way forward.

“We are responsible stewards of capital, and balance regulatory requirements with growth opportunities and shareholder returns. Our capital management philosophy continues to emphasize a sustainable quarterly cash dividend, organic growth, potential inorganic growth, as well as share repurchases. We target a through-cycle dividend payout ratio of 50%, with flexibility around share buy-backs, depending on market conditions and potential M&A opportunities.”

The statement from the bank said, Net interest income [“NII”] for the first quarter of 2021 was $74.9 million, a decrease of $0.7 million compared with NII of $75.6 million in the previous quarter and down $12.7 million from $87.6 million in the first quarter of 2020. NII in the first quarter of 2021 was lower compared to the first quarter of 2020 due to a decrease in market interest rates and accelerated prepayments in the US agency mortgage backed investment portfolio, which resulted in reinvestment at lower rates. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2020, NII was down marginally due to these lower cash yields, as well as the significant mortgage backed securities pay downs.

“Net interest margin [“NIM”] for the first quarter of 2021 was 2.09%, a decrease of 16 basis points from 2.25% in the previous quarter and down 54 basis points from 2.63% in the first quarter of 2020, was primarily due to historically high average levels of cash and customer deposits during the entire first quarter compared to the previous quarter and first quarter of 2020.

“Non-interest income was stable at $47.6 million for the first quarter of 2021, compared with $47.8 million in the previous quarter and $47.6 million earned in the first quarter of 2020. The first quarter of 2021 had lower banking revenues due to the seasonal strength of card service fees in the comparative fourth quarter of 2020, which traditionally benefits from the year-end holiday shopping season.

“Credit reserve releases totaled $1.5 million for the first quarter of 2021 versus a release of $2.4 million in the previous quarter and a provision increase of $5.2 million during the first quarter of 2020. The reserve release is the result of continued improvements in economic growth forecasts that contribute to lower future expected credit losses.

“Non-interest expenses were $80.9 million in the first quarter of 2021, compared to $83.2 million in the previous quarter and $88.1 million in the first quarter of 2020 and compared with core non-interest expenses1 of $82.4 million in the previous quarter and $87.6 million in the first quarter of 2020. Non-interest expenses were lower in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the prior quarter and the first quarter of 2020 primarily due to lower salaries and benefits costs following restructuring initiatives announced in the second half of 2020, slightly offset by higher indirect taxes.

“Period end deposit balances increased slightly to $13.4 billion from $13.3 billion as at December 31, 2020. The elevated deposit balances are expected to moderate in 2021 as depositors activate saved funds as expected economic activity improves.

“The Bank continued its balanced capital return policy. The Board again declared a quarterly dividend of $0.44 per common share to be paid on May 26, 2021 to shareholders of record on May 12, 2021. During the first quarter of 2021, Butterfield also repurchased 0.1 million common shares under the Bank’s current 2.0 million common share repurchase plan authorization.

“The current total regulatory capital ratio as at March 31, 2021 was 20.0% as calculated under Basel III, compared to 19.8% as at December 31, 2020. Both of these ratios are significantly above the Basel III regulatory requirements applicable to the Bank.”

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