Exchange Bank announced its after-tax income for the first three months this year was 9 percent higher than a year before, partly attributed to improvements in efficiency and loan quality.

The bank announced $3.21 million in net income for the period. The loan-loss provision, $1.45 million, declined 47.3 percent from the same period in 2012, and expenses decreased by 5.4 percent.

Citing soft demand for new loans, the bank announced a $30 million decline in its overall portfolio and an 11 percent reduction in net interest income for the first quarter of 2013. Yet while both consumer and commercial loans had declined, real estate loans -- representing 67.8 percent of the bank's loan portfolio by dollar volume-- increased 1.8 percent.

Exchange Bank paid a quarterly cash dividend of 25 cents per share to common shareholders on March 22. It was the third since the bank reinstated its quarterly dividend.

That most recent dividend amounts to a payment of more than $218,500 to the Frank P. Doyle and Polly O’Meara Doyle Trust that administers the Doyle Scholarship at Santa Rosa Junior College, which owns 51 percent of the bank's common stock.

Diluted earnings per share for the period were equivalent to $1.68, up from $1.38 during the same three months last year.

The price of the bank's stock (EXSR) was unchanged Wednesday at $62.25 a share.***

A low interest rate environment a fierce competition for loans was cited for a decline in first quarter earnings for San Rafael-based Westamerica Bank, with parent company Westamerica Bancorporation announcing net income had fallen 17.6 percent versus the same period last year.

Those earnings were equivalent to 64 cents per common share, versus 75 cents in the first three months of 2012.

The bank reduced its expenses by 4.5 percent comparing the two quarters, and executives noted that the bank continues to produce returns in a challenging environment. Credit quality continues to improve, with a 31 percent decline in the volume of problem loans and repossessed loan collateral from March 31 of 2012 to the same time this year.

Westamerica paid a 37 cent dividend to its shareholders for the first quarter. The bank had $4.9 billion in assets, and $2 billion in loans.***

[caption id="attachment_43367" align="alignleft" width="176"] Terry Davis[/caption]

Terry Davis has joined Santa Rosa's SAFE-BIDCO as chief financial officer, his latest leadership role in a long history as a North Bay banking executive. He assumed that role in late March, according to an announcement.

Mr. Davis began his banking career at Westamerica Bank, later becoming the senior vice president of the former National Bank of the Redwoods. He joined Summit State Bank in 1998, serving as president during the lender's transition from a savings and loan. He served as a consultant for HarVest Bank of Maryland in Gaithersburg, Md., and a senior vice president and business banking officer in Santa Rosa for Redding-based North Valley Bank.

Mr. Davis replaces Steve Brennan, who retired after ten years as SAFE-BIDCO's CFO.***

[caption id="attachment_72279" align="alignright" width="160"] Kimberly Kaselionis[/caption]

Kimberly Kaselionis, who served as CEO of the former Circle Bank, has joined her mother, Kit Cole, as an inductee in the Marin Women's Hall of Fame.

The hall counts 122 members, including author Isabel Allende, Marin Independent Journal columnist Beth Ashley, United States Senator Barbara Boxer and civil rights leader and Dominican University professor Melba Beals. Ms. Cole joined in 1997.

[caption id="attachment_72280" align="alignleft" width="200"] Kit Cole[/caption]

Both women have been recognized for their leadership in the banking industry. Ms. Cole launched two financial institutions in Marin, Horizon Savings and Loan and Tamalpais Bank. The two later lead a group of investors to recapitalize an ailing institution that ultimately evolved into Circle Bank, which reported nearly 50 consecutive profitable quarters before it was acquired by Portland-based Umpqua Bank....

Submit items for this column to Staff Writer Eric Gneckow at 707-521-4259 or eric.gneckow@busjrnl.com.