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Luther Burbank Savings exec says apartment owners who deferred payments in the pandemic are getting current

Santa Rosa-based Luther Burbank Corp. (Nasdaq: LBC) pulled in $21.21 million in net income for second quarter ending June 30, 2021 — up 127.8% from $9.31 million for the same three months in the previous year, it reported Wednesday.

Beyond sharing its success with its stockholders, CEO Simone Lagomarsino was also “pleased” with the strength of its loan portfolio. All Luther Burbank Savings borrowers that participated in its pandemic payment deferral assistance program have either paid off their loans or returned to a routine monthly payment status.

“I’m particularly proud of the resilience of our borrowers throughout this long pandemic,” Lagomarsino said of the loan portfolio that largely consists of multifamily residential loans.

Total loans by June 30 amounted to $6.44 billion, which rose by more than $160 million in just three months and in comparison to the second quarter in 2020.

A steady, promising performance covered the balance sheet — with Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Laura Tarantino telling the Business Journal after the investor relations conference call that the bank is “not surprised” by the outcome given the amount of planning that went into helping its customers weather a “challenging” economic climate filled with “bumps and hurdles.”

The alternative of doing nothing was not an option, Tarantino explained.

“We had to move decisively and monitor the environment. It was more about being a part of the solution. Inaction could have exacerbated the problem,” she said.

Across the board, the prudence and roadmap to profitability paid off.

When weighing the revenue generated from interest-bearing assets and the costs of servicing liabilities, net interest income also went up by $2.2 million in the second quarter of 2021 to $40.89 million.

Deposits totaled $5.4 billion, edging out this year’s first quarter total of $5.39 billion and 2020’s second quarter collective of $5.38 billion.

Overall, the half-year mark in 2021 showed net earnings adding up $39.62 million, which dwarfed 2020’s turbulent first six months of the year with $16.89 million.

The Sonoma County bank’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of 12 cents per common share to be paid on Aug. 16.

With total assets exceeding $7.25 billion as of June 30, Luther Burbank Savings operates 10 branches in Northern and Southern California, one branch in Washington and seven lending offices located throughout the West, including Oregon.

Susan Wood covers law, cannabis, production, biotech, energy, transportation, agriculture as well as banking and finance. For 25 years, Susan has worked for a variety of publications including the North County Times, now a part of the Union Tribune in San Diego County, along with the Tahoe Daily Tribune and Lake Tahoe News. She graduated from Fullerton College. Reach her at 530-545-8662 or susan.wood@busjrnl.com

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