Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Yadkin Financial profit jumps following merger

Raleigh-based Yadkin Financial Corp., parent company of North Carolina's biggest community bank, announced this week that it earned $14.7 million for shareholders in the fourth quarter — after a merger last year doubled Yadkin's size.

Yadkin, parent of Yadkin Bank, reported profit of $14.7 million in the fourth quarter, an increase of 745 percent from the same quarter a year earlier.

That sizable gain follows the bank's merger in July with Raleigh-based VantageSouth Bancshares, a deal that created the state's biggest community bank.

Yadkin reported total assets of $4.3 billion as of Dec. 31. That's double the $2.1 billion in assets it reported for Dec. 31, 2013, before the merger with VantageSouth.

The fourth quarter was the second quarter for the combined company. In the wake of the merger, Yadkin is now seeking to cut costs by eliminating redundancies that often result when two companies are combined, CEO Scott Custer said Tuesday.

"We are very focused on reducing costs throughout the company," Custer told me in an interview. "That being said, key markets like Charlotte are places where we will continue to make appropriate investment, both in people and in distribution, that makes sense for us."

In the Charlotte metro area, Yadkin Financial has about 260 employees and about a dozen branches.

Custer said the company has been adding bankers in the Charlotte region. "Clearly, Charlotte's an area we will continue to try and invest in in appropriate ways," he said.

In the fourth quarter, Yadkin Financial achieved "robust" annualized net loan growth of 10 percent, Custer said in the company's earnings press release.

That came as Yadkin's Small Business Administration lending operation, which is headquartered in Charlotte, posted $2.9 million in income for the fourth quarter — the highest quarterly SBA-lending income in the company's history.

The merger, a deal worth $299 million, created a bank with a footprint stretching from Wilmington to the Triangle to Charlotte.

Yadkin had been based in Elkin before the merger. Under the deal, the merged bank holding company kept the Yadkin name but made Raleigh its headquarters.

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