Dear Fellow Shareholder:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, management team and staff of Bank of Ruston, we are proud to provide the 2017 Annual Report. This year was a great year with strong earnings and robust asset and deposit growth for Century Next Financial Corporation and its subsidiary Bank of Ruston.
For the year ended December 31, 2017, net income was slightly lower than the prior year by approximately 5.1% due to an adjustment of deferred taxes related to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December of 2017. We are very excited about the growth potential for earnings in 2018 due to the new tax structure for corporations. Both loan and deposit growth was outstanding in 2018 with loans up 17.8% and deposits up 19.1% year over year. We continue to see our customer base in our market regions of Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes and the surrounding areas grow. As always, our primary focus is asset quality, which is the cornerstone of success for any prudent financial institution.
Bank of Ruston, our subsidiary bank, is celebrating 112 years of serving the Ruston Community and Lincoln Parish. Our newest banking center in Monroe, Louisiana had enormous growth in 2017 with total assets up 77% or $29 million compared to 2016. We continue to be excited about the growth potential in the Monroe region. As we mention last year, our efforts were focused on business deposit accounts, and this continued in 2017 with business interest checking up over 82% or $20.5 million. Our rewards checking and savings deposit products also had robust growth adding 14% and 29%, respectively for a total growth of $3.4 million. Also, in 2017, we changed our web address to www.bor.bank and adopted “.bank” to help provide customers with a more secure environment in which to transact business online.
Our team of seasoned professionals continues to assist with our financial success focusing on providing the right fit for new and existing customers’ needs. They continue to concentrate on doing the right things on a daily basis. Our focus market areas continue to thrive economically, and now with tax reform, we can already see improvement in the business environment.
As we move into 2018, we are excited about our continued growth opportunities. As always, we continue to explore new technologies to enhance the customer experience making banking more convenient than ever. We are excited about the potential for growth of the bank, increased return for the shareholders, and the opportunity to continue to serve our market area.
We are proud of you, our shareholders, our loyal customers, and our wonderful region and look forward to an exciting year ahead.
William D. Hogan
President and Chief Executive Officer