Record Earnings, Despite Challenges

Guy T. Williams
Guy T. Williams

By Guy T. Williams

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Co. celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. It was a special year in many ways. After enduring Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the global financial crisis in 2008 and the BP oil spill in 2010, we were very happy that 2015 was our best year yet.

Over the years, we deliberately developed a number of different profit centers. Among those are trust, investments, small-business lending, problem loan workouts and mortgage lending.

In a normal year, some of the bank’s divisions are up in profitability while others might be down. Last year was unusual because all of the profit centers experienced record earnings. We would love for this to happen every year, but we are not that fortunate.

Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Co.
New Orleans, La.
ROAA in 2015: 1.99 percent
ROAE in 2015: 22.51 percent
Assets: $1.4 billion
Retail locations: 19
Employees: 422
Founded: 1990

The mortgage industry has suffered due to poorly designed and ultimately consumer-unfriendly changes ordered by Washington, D.C. Unlike most of the industry, we decided to change our processes and swiftly comply with the latest Washington foolishness, because we realized early on that these mandated changes would cause an increase in the cost for consumers and delay real estate closings. The result was a great year in mortgage lending and the return of a reasonably quick closing for our customers.

These are challenging times for our industry, but we know that community banks are essential for economic growth. Our plan is to continuously pursue diversified sources of revenue while working to change the toxic environment in Washington.

Guy T. Williams is president and CEO of Gulf Coast Bank & Trust Co.