It seems like only a few years ago that Brent Hillery, Elaine McKinney and I were working to open a new bank in Wichita Falls. In September 2012, Fidelity Bank will begin its tenth year of operations. Endorsing the old adage that “change is constant,” I can tell you these last nine years have been fun and they’ve been challenging. Through it all, the bank has enjoyed an excellent financial performance.
As we enter the fifth year of the banking crisis, it appears the worst is behind us in terms of problem and closed banks throughout the United States. The 157 bank failures in Year 2010 were apparently the high point in this cycle. Comparatively, bank failures declined to 92 in Year 2011 and there have been only 16 in the first quarter of Year 2012. Overall bank industry profits have improved over the last two years.
Going forward, I believe Fidelity Bank is well positioned to face the regulatory challenges resulting from the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform legislation passed by Congress in Year 2010. While Dodd-Frank was meant to prevent another financial crisis like that of Year 2008, the banks most negatively impacted by all the new legislation and regulations are the community banks – not the “Too Big to Fail” banks.
Despite the additional regulatory burden, a weak economy and lack of loan demand for most banks, Fidelity Bank had a good Year 2011. In fact, Year 2011 was the second best year for our bank with deposits increasing $39.1 million (approximately 21%) from Year 2010 to $225.2 million and loans $25.2 million to $172.4 million. Despite the current state of our economy and the banking industry in general, I believe the future of Fidelity Bank is good!
I have said many times since the bank opened that the key to our success is our people. In September 2003, we opened the bank with ten employees and I am proud to tell you eight of the original employees are still with the bank, including all five of the officers. Today, we have over 40 employees serving customers from three banking locations in Wichita Falls and Burkburnett. Without doubt, Fidelity Bank has the best and most efficient staff of bankers in our North Texas area. They’re experienced, they’re knowledgeable, they have a strong work ethic, and they are committed to helping our local communities grow through their involvement in both civic and charitable organizations.
If you are already our customer – we thank you for your continued business. If you are not currently our customer, we invite you to “get connected” to Fidelity. You can access us online, by telephone, in our lobbies or we can come to your business and visit. I look forward to seeing you soon.
Tommy McCulloch, Jr.
President & Chief Executive Officer
“When you bank with Fidelity Bank, your money stays right here, funding business
and personal loans that help strengthen our local economy. “