Collaboration between our deposit and lending teams is fueling low-cost deposit growth. The year over year period ending March 31, 2020, was the strongest core deposit growth period since 2004. More importantly, low-cost deposit growth was the highest in the company’s history. First-quarter profits were down 21% largely due to personnel additions on the business and retail banking roster.

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Pressman, St. Petersburg’s Entrepreneur-In-Residence, and Leslie Bridges, senior vice president of business banking at First Citrus Bank, spoke with the St. Pete Catalyst about their perspectives on the $349 billion small business lending program that was included in the $2 trillion stimulus package designed to blunt the economic fallout from the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

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The additions to our lending team are beginning to create traction in the loan portfolio. The fourth quarter period ending December 31, 2019 was the strongest growth quarter of the year for loans with 83% higher growth than the prior year quarter. More importantly, the fourth quarter checking account growth was 270% higher than the prior year quarter. 2019 was another record earnings year with net income up 2% over the prior year.

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