“Eastern once again posted record earnings in 2018,” said Bob Rivers, Chair and CEO of Eastern Bank. “Generating record financial results is not an end in and of itself, and as the oldest and largest mutual bank in the U.S., our success is directly linked to the strength of the communities we serve. We are driven by a fiduciary responsibility to preserve and grow our capital base to support the continued growth of our business so that our local communities thrive. We thank our customers, colleagues and community partners for making 2018 another outstanding year.”
Rivers added, “2018 would not be complete without also thanking our Immediate Past Lead Director Wendell Knox, who retired from Eastern’s board after more than 20 years of service. We are deeply appreciative of his many insights and contributions through the years.”
Eastern benefitted from rising interest rates and a strong local economy to generate record results. Net interest income was $390 million, a $51.5 million increase over 2017, as higher interest rates of loans and investments exceeded higher costs of deposits and other funding. The net interest margin improved to 3.84 percent from 3.65 percent in 2017.
“All our businesses had very successful years, with our Commercial Banking Group performing exceptionally well as commercial loans increased 10 percent,” said James B. Fitzgerald, Vice Chair, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer of Eastern Bank. “We believe we are well positioned for continued success and look forward to achieving new highs in 2019.”
Other 2018 financial performance highlights include:
- Continued strong commitment to Small Business, with Eastern ranked the #1 SBA lender in New England for the 9th consecutive year;
- Total premiums written by Eastern Insurance Group exceeded $1 billion for the second year in a row, resulting in record revenues of over $90 million, supported by three insurance agency acquisitions in 2018; President and CEO Hope Aldrich also celebrated 20 years of leadership;
- Eastern Wealth Management’s investment management fees increased 8 percent to $19.1 million, its sixth consecutive annual record; and
- Eastern ended the year with over $1.4 billion in capital, which exceeds the “well-capitalized” standards set by regulators, and maintained an extremely strong balance sheet with excellent loan quality, ample liquidity, and robust capital levels.
Eastern continued the second year of its Join Us For Good campaign in conjunction with its bicentennial celebration. This program inspires customers, communities and others to join together to “create a movement” to do good things and help people prosper. As part of this campaign, Eastern welcomed Aly Raisman as its newest Partner for Good, joining David Ortiz and Doug Flutie, and was a leader in the business community advocating for Gateway Cities, underserved communities, military veterans and their families, the advancement of women and transgender equality.
Eastern’s commitment to philanthropy and community service focused on serving basic needs in the community while honoring the Bank’s first customers who were predominantly women. The Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation provided over $9 million to local efforts to ensure equal access to basic human services. In addition, “Advancing Women” was a targeted area of giving, with more than $2.2 million granted to community-based organizations addressing issues that inhibit the advancement of women and girls. Eastern employees donated more than 50,000 hours to organizations and causes important to them, and Eastern was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as the most charitable bank in Massachusetts.
About Eastern Bank
Founded in 1818, Boston-based Eastern Bank is America’s oldest and largest mutual bank, with $11 billion in assets and over 115 locations serving communities in eastern Massachusetts, southern and coastal New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Eastern provides exceptional access to fairly priced banking, investment and insurance products and services for consumers and businesses of all sizes. Eastern Bank, which includes Eastern Wealth Management and Eastern Insurance, is known for its outspoken advocacy and community support that has exceeded more than $120 million in charitable giving since 1999. An inclusive company, Eastern employs 1,900+ deeply committed professionals who value relationships with their customers, colleagues, and communities. Join us for good at www.easternbank.com and follow Eastern on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram.
SOURCE Eastern Bank