Jasper-based German American Bancorp (Nasdaq: GABC) is reporting first quarter net income of $19.5 million, up from $12.5 million during the same period last year. Chief Executive Officer Mark Schroeder said while the bank did not see growth during the pandemic in its loan portfolio, it is encouraged by the level of potential future loan demand.
German American says provided more than $145 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans through the first quarter of the year. The bank says it will continue to participate in the current round, which gives applicants until May 31 to apply for a loan.
“After an extremely challenging 2020 due to a myriad of issues associated with the pandemic, we are very pleased to have been able to start off 2021 with extremely solid and strong first quarter performance,” said Schroeder. “While the environment of historically low interest rates and net interest margins are likely to continue to be a challenge in 2021 and the coming years, we are hopeful that the worst of the economic impact of the pandemic is behind us.”
Schroeder says the bank is hopeful that customers will utilize more of their existing credit lines over the coming months in response to “an elevated level of economic growth and expansion as the impact of the pandemic wanes.”
“Our ability to increase the level of net interest income due to our materially larger balance sheet will hopefully allow us to mitigate the impact of the low interest rate environment,” Schroeder continued. “We look forward to the balance of 2021 and our ability to build upon our first quarter results with a cautious optimism.”
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