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1/30/2012 6:43:00 PM
Profit for Munster-based Peoples Bank bank up 4 percent in 2011

Bowdeya Tweh, Times of Northwest Indiana

MUNSTER | NorthWest Indiana Bancorp said its profit rose 24 percent in the fourth quarter as better economic conditions helped the bank cut its provision for losses on loans from a year ago.

The holding company for Peoples Bank said Thursday net income was $1.4 million, or 50 cents per share, for the three months that ended Dec. 31. Net income was up from $1.1 million, or 40 cents per share in the comparable 2010 period.

In 2011, profit for the bank rose 4 percent from a year earlier to $5.4 million, or $1.90 per share.

David Bochnowski, chairman and CEO of NorthWest Indiana Bancorp, said the economy improved in the second half of the year, which helped the bank have a strong fourth quarter.

Net interest income, the difference between money earned from loans and investments and paid on deposits, fell in the fourth quarter 3.5 percent to $5.9 million. The 2011 total of $23.8 million was down 5.3 percent because of reduced loan balances and lower asset yields, the bank said.

A favorable settlement on a lawsuit against the lead lender of a real estate participation loan lifted non-interest income from banking activities by $457,000 from 2010 to $6.2 million in 2011.

The loan loss provision in the fourth quarter was $875,000 compared to $1.5 million a year earlier. For the full year, the provision was down $2.1 million from 2010.

The ratio of past due loans to total loans stood at 3.6 percent as of Dec. 31, down from 5.77 percent at the same point last year.

The bank said it remained well-capitalized according to standards set by regulators.

NorthWest Indiana Bancorp paid dividends of 60 cents per share in 2011, compared to 72 cents per share in 2010. Shares stood at $14.30 in over-the-counter trading Friday.

The bank had assets of $651.7 million, as of Dec. 31. Peoples Bank has 12 branches and offices in Lake and Porter counties.

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Editor, John C. DePrez Jr.; Executive Editor, Carol Rogers; Publishers: IBRC and IAR

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