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Chesapeake Bank plays an essential role in the growth of the communities it serves

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  • The company has increased dividends for 29 consecutive years
  • American Banker named Chesapeake one of the ‘Top 200 Community Banks’ in the US
  • It processed $77 million dollars in the first wave of the Paycheck Protection Program loans

What Chesapeake Bank does:

Chesapeake Financial Shares Inc (OTCQX:CPKF) operates as the bank holding company for Chesapeake Bank, and is also the parent company for Chesapeake Wealth Management Inc.

Founded in 1900, Chesapeake Bank is a lender to small businesses. Headquartered in Kilmarnock, Virginia, it operates 16 community banks in the Northern Neck, Middle Peninsula, Williamsburg and Richmond region.

Chesapeake Bank offers checking, savings, mortgages, lines of credit, commercial loans, mobile and online banking, business cash management, brokerage, wealth management, trust, and estate management services.

Meanwhile, Chesapeake Wealth Management is an independent wealth management firm offering brokerage, trust, and estate management services. It has an in-house team of professionals, portfolio managers, and trust officers under one roof. It provides premium trust and estate services, including a thorough, no-obligation review of an individual’s current estate plan. 

Jeffrey M. Szyperski is the chairman of the board and CEO of Chesapeake Financial Shares and Chesapeake Bank. Szyperski, a banker for three decades, is also the chairman of Chesapeake Wealth Management. A thoughtful risk-taker who is bullish on the banking industry, Szyperski has served as a former chairman of the American Bankers Association and the Virginia Bankers Association.

How is it doing:

As 2021 kicked off, Chesapeake Bank was on a growth fast track. Despite the challenges of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the company has just reported stellar earnings for the first quarter of 2021 of $5,262,879, a 56.3% increase over the first quarter of 2020. The reported earnings per share were $1.085 fully diluted, compared to $0.679 fully diluted for the first quarter of 2020. Total assets ended the quarter at $1,238,292,086, a 30.2% increase over March 31, 2020.

The company said the large increases in both net income and total assets over the prior year were largely driven by governmental programs – both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other Federal stimulus payments. The lion’s share of the first wave of PPP loans, around 60%, went through US community banks. The PPP program, the US government’s small-business coronavirus bailout, brought community banks like Chesapeake new customers and kept current ones in business. Stimulus and unemployment checks also boosted deposits and kept borrowers from falling behind on their loans.

Non-performing assets also decreased to 1.026% on March 31, 2021, compared to 1.034% on December 31, 2020.  Chesapeake CEO Jeffrey M. Szyperski said that asset quality remains “extremely good especially as we slowly come out of the pandemic and related shutdowns.” He added that mortgage operations continue at “close to full capacity and have provided strong fee income.”

At a meeting on April 16, 2021, Chesapeake Financial’s board declared a quarterly dividend of $0.130 per share effective June 1, 2021, payable on or before June 15, 2021. Currently the stock has a 2.14% dividend yield.  With a $0.005 increase last quarter, the company has continued a 29-year tradition of increasing dividends annually.  

In January, Szyperski told Proactive in an interview that the bank embraced a new workflow tool, along with “flexibility, resiliency and teamwork” to process $77 million dollars in the first wave of the PPP Program loans last year, producing $3 million in fees. Of that three million, the bank said it recognized $777,000 into 2020 income with the rest being deferred into 2021 awaiting forgiveness applications from the borrowers.

American Banker earlier named Chesapeake one of the ‘Top 200 Community Banks’ in the United States for the thirteenth consecutive year and one of the ‘Best Banks to Work For’ for the eighth consecutive year.

Chesapeake Bank has recently implemented Texas-based Q2 Holdings Inc’s (NYSE:QTWO) “best-in-class” commercial banking technology to improve the banking experiences for its business customers. The bank is presiding over a digital transformation, and said it treated its digital evaluation as “an opportunity” to hone its “go-to-market strategy,” focusing their digital investment dollars in the areas that are “most important” to the company’s growth. As a result, the bank is focused on providing “a complete, mobile-friendly, easy-to-use digital banking experience” to its customers.

Meanwhile, Chesapeake Bank has revealed that it had joined the Real-Time Payments (RTP) network developed by The Clearing House. With the RTP network, Chesapeake Bank customers can now receive payments directly into their accounts with real-time receipt confirmation and instant availability, while also providing for advanced messaging capabilities.

Inflection points:

  • Participating in the next round of the Paycheck Protection Program
  • Gaining traction from the bank’s comprehensive digital strategy
  • Continued boost from strong mortgage market as well as asset growth 

What the boss says:

“A lot of the growth can be attributed to Federal funds coming into our community through stimulus payments as well as PPP loans. Some lesser amount we attribute to an overall increase in savings by our customers,” Chesapeake Bank CEO Jeffrey M. Szyperski said in a recent interview with Proactive.

“Through our specialty lines of business as well as our strong retail market share in each of our markets, we are well poised for the future even in a low-rate environment. We are earnest in our support of our communities, and we feel a certain amount of reciprocity there. Ultimately, our customers and we are striving for the same thing – the betterment of our communities over the long run. With that as guidepost, we feel confident in our long-term success and thus as a good investment.”

Contact the author Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive

Story by ProactiveInvestors


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