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Commonwealth Business Bank Reports Record Annual Net Income and Significant Asset Quality Improvement


Commonwealth Business Bank Reports Record Annual Net Income and Significant Asset Quality Improvement

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 01/31/13 -- Commonwealth Business Bank (OTCBB: CWBB)

Highlights:


 
--  Record annual net income of $7.52 million or $2.32 per diluted share.
--  ROA of 1.73 % and ROE of 14.31% for 2012.
--  47.69% efficiency ratio in 2012 while adding revenue generating
    employees and opening of a loan production office.
--  Total assets were $481.85 million, an increase of 18.1%.
--  Net loans were $376.7 million, up 17%.
--  Total deposits rose 18.5% to $422.99 million, primarily reflecting
    significant growth in retail deposits, including non-interest bearing
    deposit accounts.
--  The bank reported a Texas Ratio of 3.50%, non-accrual loans to gross
    loans of 0.85% and a 30.9% reduction in total non-performing assets.
--  Tangible common book value per common share increased to $15.63,
    compared with $13.20 at year-end 2011.

Commonwealth Business Bank (OTCBB: CWBB) today reported financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2012 that reflected strong earnings growth attributed to increases in both interest and non-interest income and significant year-over-year asset quality improvement.

Net income rose 28% to $2.30 million or $0.69 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2012, compared with $2.17 million or $0.63 per diluted share for fourth quarter 2011. For the full year 2012, the Company reported net income of $7.52 million or $2.32 per diluted share, compared with net income of $1.84 million or $0.50 per diluted share for 2011.

"When I joined the Company in April 2011, I recognized the tremendous potential the CBB Bank franchise had to offer to the community," said Joanne Kim, President and CEO. "The bank had asset quality issues, but the strength of the CBB Bank franchise and the opportunity to grow the franchise was clear. We took aggressive action to quickly reduce problem loans in second quarter 2011, and the 2012 results show our action has been effective. With the reduction, we were able to focus on growing our businesses and diversifying portfolio in 2012."

"Although competition is intense for quality business loans and good banking relationships, we have had great success in serving mid to small size businesses, which value our specific abilities to understand and meet their banking requirements. We believe in building relationships one client at a time, and our ability to identify new opportunities to grow our SBA lending business has been important factors in our continuing success."

In fourth quarter 2012, net interest income was $4.63 million, compared with $3.79 million in fourth quarter 2011. Total interest income for the quarter increased 17% to $5.50 million, compared with $4.69 million in the fourth quarter 2011. For the full year 2012, net interest income after provision for loan losses was $16.59 million, compared with net interest income after provision for loan loss of $6.17 million for 2011. In 2012, total interest income was $20.76 million compared with $18.35 million in 2011. The Company's provision for loan losses was $717,000 in 2012 compared with $8.30 million in 2011. There was no provision for loan losses in fourth quarter 2012.

Total interest expense was $863,000 in fourth quarter 2012, 4.4% lower than fourth quarter 2011. The Company reduced total interest expense to $3.45 million in 2012, 11% lower than 2011. The Company has benefited from an improvement to its cost of funds by 3 basis points to 0.85% in fourth quarter 2012 by re-pricing interest-bearing retail deposit accounts, growth of non-interest bearing deposits, and a run off of high cost wholesale deposits.

"Managing net interest margins in this environment is a challenge for all banks, so our ability to grow the net interest margin to 4.03% compared with 3.71% in fourth quarter 2011 was encouraging," Kim explained. "Recapturing of interest income from non-accrual loans returning to accrual status also helped our net interest margin. We expect that the prolonged low interest rate environment will place additional pressure on our net interest margin in 2013 as loans are re-priced to lower rates."

The Company reported total non-interest income of $1.23 million for fourth quarter 2012 compared with $812,000 for the fourth quarter in 2011, a 51% increase. For 2012, total non-interest income was $5.10 million, up 21% compared with $4.22 million for 2011.

Total non-interest expense for 2012 was $10.69 million, compared with $8.60 million for 2011, primarily reflecting higher salaries and employee benefits resulting from 22% growth in staffing, expenses related to the Company's planned move to a new Los Angeles headquarters in March 2013 and opening of a Dallas-based SBA loan production office. The bank added revenue generating employees in SBA and commercial lending, and also added compliance and administration staff for support. Although non-interest expense increased, the bank continues to maintain an efficiency ratio of 47.69% for the year, which compares positively with most community bank peers, both locally and nationally.

Balance Sheet, Asset Quality and Capital Strength

Total assets were $481.85 million at December 31, 2012, compared with $408.08 million December 31, 2011, an 18.1% growth. Net loans after allowance for loan losses at December 31, 2012 were $376.74 million, up 17% compared with $322.58 million at December 31, 2011. The increase partially reflects retention of a portion of originated SBA loans held for sale. The bank dramatically improved asset quality in year-over-year comparisons. Loans 30 to 89 days past due declined to $215,000 at year-end 2012, compared with $2.29 million at year-end 2011, reflecting the positive impact of strengthened credit and underwriting practices implemented. Total non-accrual loans were $3.31 million at year-end 2012, down 75% compared with $13.10 million at year-end 2011. The reduction was result of a sale of a large non-accrual loan during fourth quarter, coupled with proactive loan workouts. Total non-performing loans, including interest accruing Trouble Debt Restructured (TDR) loans, were $14.30 million at December 31, 2012, compared with $20.70 million at December 31, 2011. While non-accrual loans declined, interest accruing TDR loans increased year-over-year to $11 million.

The ratio of non-performing assets to total assets declined to 2.97% at December 31, 2012, compared with 5.07% at December 31, 2011. The bank reported no Other Real Estate Owned at December 31, 2012.

Net charge offs to average loans for 2012 was 0.12% compared with 1.72% of 2011. Reflecting the Company's initiatives to improve asset quality, the bank's Texas Ratio was significantly reduced to 3.50% at year-end 2012 compared with 20.29% at year-end 2011.

Total deposits at December 31, 2012 grew 18.5% to $422.99 million compared with $357.00 million at December 31, 2011. The Company's gross loans to deposits ratio, including loans held for sale, was 91.6% at December 31, 2012. Kim noted that the bank's goal is to continue expanding its core retail deposit base to fund its growing lending activities, while maintaining a gross loan to deposit ratio at less than 95%.

The bank reported a tier 1 leverage ratio of 12.18%, a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of 14.47%, and a total risk-based capital ratio of 15.74% in fourth quarter 2012. All ratios exceed minimum regulatory standards for a well-capitalized financial institution.

The bank opened its first Loan Production Office (LPO) in Dallas, Texas in December 2012, and plans to expand its LPO network to other areas in the future. LPO operations will focus on SBA 7(a) loan origination in the region. "We believe our SBA 7(a) lending model is scalable and we can expand our lending operations, and continue our loan growth momentum in an extremely competitive lending environment. SBA loans will help us maximize capital leverage while retaining less credit exposure than conventional loans. In order to maximize efficiency without compromising prudent risk management, loan production and underwriting are handled locally at Dallas Loan Underwriting Center, while all approvals are done by the Los Angeles headquarters," Kim explained.

As part of its expansion and marketing strategy, the Company also introduced a new "CBB Bank" name and graphic logo. "We continue to formally operate as Commonwealth Business Bank," said Kim, "but 'CBB Bank' gives us a more concise and memorable brand. Our new headquarters in the center of the Los Angeles Korean-American business community is a high rise and it prominently features our new logo at the top."

Kim concluded: "We move into 2013 with improved asset quality, and are well-positioned to grow our business on a number of fronts. The economy will continue to be a challenge, and uncertainty about the country's fiscal direction, interest rates, tax issues, and gridlock in Washington, D.C. have caused businesses to be cautious. We will focus on strong risk management, continued effort to maintain good asset quality and identifying quality opportunities to grow our businesses."

About the Company

CBB Bank is a traditional full-service commercial bank opened on March 9, 2005 and is headquartered in the "Miracle Mile" of Los Angeles, California. The Bank also has a loan production office in Dallas, Texas.

Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking information about Commonwealth Business Bank (CWBB) that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for forward-looking statements provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, and include statements related to the bank's outlook. Such statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the control of CWBB. CWBB cautions readers that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, revenues that are lower than expected and credit quality deterioration which could cause an increase in the provision for credit losses.

These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and factors such as: changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits, technological changes, the cost of additional capital is more than expected, a change in the interest rate environment reducing interest margins, asset/liability repricing risks and liquidity risks, general economic conditions, particularly those affecting real estate values, either nationally or in the market areas in which CWBB does or anticipates doing business, including the possibility of a U.S. recession, a slowdown in construction activity, recent volatility in the credit or equity markets and its effect on the general economy, loan delinquency rates, the ability of CWBB to retain customers, demographic changes, demand for the products or services of CWBB as well as its ability to attract and retain qualified people, competition with other banks and financial institutions, and other factors. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or if any of the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements proves to be incorrect, CWBB's results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, such forward-looking statements. CWBB assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.


 
                                                                            
STATEMENTS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION (Unaudited)                               
                                                                            
December 31, 2012                                                           
(Dollar in thousands)                                                       
                                                                            
                                                                            
                          December    September     %     December      %   
                          31, 2012    30, 2012   Change   31, 2011   Change 
                         ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------ 
ASSETS                                                                      
Cash and Cash Equivalent $   78,778  $   56,634    39.1%     51,784    52.1%
Total Investment                                                            
 Securities                  11,542      14,023   -17.7%     21,951   -47.4%
                                                                            
  Loans and lease                                                           
   financing, net of                                                        
   deferred fee and                                                         
   costs                    387,467     377,424     2.7%    333,505    16.2%
  Less: Allowance for                                                       
   loan losses              (10,729)    (11,041)   -2.8%    (10,929)   -1.8%
                         ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------ 
Net Loans                   376,738     366,383     2.8%    322,576    16.8%
                                                                            
FHLB & FRB stocks             3,288       3,264     0.7%      3,052     7.7%
Other assets                 11,507       9,743    18.1%      8,721    31.9%
                         ==========  ==========  ======  ==========  ====== 
TOTAL ASSETS             $  481,853  $  450,047     7.1% $  408,084    18.1%
                         ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------ 
                                                                            
LIABILITIES AND                                                             
 STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY                                                       
  DDA                    $   68,330  $   58,076    17.7% $   42,885    59.3%
  Money market & NOW        131,973     126,633     4.2%    111,158    18.7%
  Savings                     5,260       3,928    33.9%      4,389    19.8%
  Time deposits < $100K      80,654      88,751    -9.1%    100,317   -19.6%
  Time deposits greater                                                     
   than or equal to
   $100K                    136,777     115,661    18.3%     98,249    39.2%
                         ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------ 
TOTAL DEPOSITS              422,994     393,049     7.6%    356,998    18.5%
                                                                            
TOTAL LIABILITIES           425,452     395,934     7.5%    359,332    18.4%
                                                                            
SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY         56,401      54,113     4.2%     48,752    15.7%
                         ==========  ==========  ======  ==========  ====== 
TOTAL LIABILITIES &                                                         
 SHAREHOLDERS' EQUITY    $  481,853  $  450,047     7.1% $  408,084    18.1%
                         ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------ 
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                                                            
STATEMENTS OF OPERATIONS (Unaudited)                                        
                                                                            
December 31, 2012                                                           
(Dollar in thousands)                                                       
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                           Three Months Ended               
                            ----------------------------------------------- 
                             December   September    %     December     %   
                             31, 2012   30, 2012  Change   31, 2011  Change 
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
  Total interest income     $    5,496 $    5,283    4.0% $    4,688   17.2%
  Total interest expense           863        856    0.8%        903   -4.4%
                                                                            
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
Net interest income before                                                  
 LL prov                         4,633      4,427    4.6%      3,785   22.4%
                                                                            
  Provision for loan losses          -          -      -           -      - 
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
Net interest income after                                                   
 LL prov                         4,633      4,427    4.6%      3,785   22.4%
                                                                            
  Gain on sale of loans            847        869   -2.5%        450   88.2%
  Service charges and other                                                 
   income                          382        416   -8.1%        362    5.4%
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
Total non-interest Income        1,229      1,285   -4.3%        812   51.3%
                                                                            
  Salaries and employee                                                     
   benefits                      1,933      1,717   12.6%      1,420   36.1%
  Occupancy and equipment          327        297   10.1%        274   19.3%
  Other expenses                   809        660   22.6%        634   27.6%
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
Total non-interest Expense       3,069      2,674   14.8%      2,328   31.8%
                                                                            
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
Income (loss) before income                                                 
 taxes                           2,793      3,038   -8.1%      2,269   23.1%
                                                                            
Total Income tax provision         494      1,240  -60.2%         97  409.3%
                                                                            
                            ========== ========== ======  ========== ====== 
Net income (loss)           $    2,299 $    1,798   27.9% $    2,172    5.8%
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
                                                                            
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
  EPS (BASIC)               $     0.70 $     0.54         $     0.69        
  EPS (DILUTED)             $     0.69 $     0.53         $     0.63        
                            ---------- ---------- ------  ---------- ------ 
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                                                            
 
                                 Twelve Months Ended      
                            ----------------------------- 
                             December   December      %   
                             31, 2012   31, 2011   Change 
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
  Total interest income     $   20,758 $   18,347    13.1%
  Total interest expense         3,447      3,881   -11.2%
                                                          
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
Net interest income before                                
 LL prov                        17,311     14,466    19.7%
                                                          
  Provision for loan losses        717      8,296   -91.4%
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
Net interest income after                                 
 LL prov                        16,594      6,170     N/M 
                                                          
  Gain on sale of loans          3,462      2,782    24.4%
  Service charges and other                               
   income                        1,641      1,440    14.0%
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
Total non-interest Income        5,103      4,222    20.9%
                                                          
  Salaries and employee                                   
   benefits                      6,630      4,871    36.1%
  Occupancy and equipment        1,187      1,038    14.4%
  Other expenses                 2,873      2,690     6.8%
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
Total non-interest Expense      10,690      8,599    24.3%
                                                          
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
Income (loss) before income                               
 taxes                          11,007      1,793     N/M 
                                                          
Total Income tax provision       3,489        (46)    N/M 
                                                          
                            ========== ==========  ====== 
Net income (loss)           $    7,518 $    1,839      NM 
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
                                                          
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
  EPS (BASIC)               $     2.33 $     0.50         
  EPS (DILUTED)             $     2.32 $     0.50         
                            ---------- ----------  ------ 
                                                          
                                                          
                                                          
SELECTED FINANCIAL RATIOS                                                   
                                                                            
As of December 31, 2012                                                     
(Dollar in thousands)                                                       
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                         Three Months Ended                 
                        --------------------------------------------------- 
                         December    September     %     December      %    
                         31, 2012    30, 2012   Change   31, 2011    Change 
                        ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------- 
Performance Ratios:                                                         
  Return on Average                                                         
   Assets                     1.98%       1.61%   0.37%       2.12%   -0.14%
  Return on Average                                                         
   Equity                    16.58%      13.37%   3.21%      18.10%   -1.52%
  Net Interest Margin         4.03%       3.98%   0.05%       3.71%    0.32%
  Cost of Funds               0.85%       0.88%  -0.03%       1.01%   -0.16%
  Efficiency Ratio           52.36%      46.81%   5.55%      50.82%    1.54%
                                                                            
Capital Ratios:                                                             
  Tier 1 Leverage Ratio      12.18%      12.11%   0.07%      11.99%    0.19%
  Tier 1 Risk-Based                                                         
   Capital Ratio             14.47%      14.36%   0.11%      14.13%    0.34%
  Total Risk-Based                                                          
   Capital Ratio             15.74%      15.63%   0.11%      15.41%    0.33%
                                                                            
Delinquent Loans, 30-89                                                     
 Days Past-Due:         $      215  $    4,843      NM  $    2,286       NM 
                                                                            
Non-Performing Assets:                                                      
  Total Non-Accrual                                                         
   Loans                $    3,307  $    2,730   21.13% $   13,104   -74.76%
  90 Days or More Past-                                                     
   Due and Still                                                            
   Accruing                      -           -       -         729  -100.00%
  Accrual TDR Loans         10,996      11,108   -1.01%      6,867    60.12%
  Total Non-Performing                                                      
   Loans                    14,303      13,838    3.37%     20,700   -30.90%
                                                                            
  Other Real Estate                                                         
   Owned                         -           -       -           -        - 
  Total Non-Performing                                                      
   Assets               $   14,303  $   13,838    3.37% $   20,700   -30.90%
                                                                            
                                                                            
Asset Quality Ratios:                                                       
  Total Non-Accrual                                                         
   Loans to Gross Loans       0.85%       0.72%   0.13%       3.93%   -3.08%
  Non-Performing Loans                                                      
   to Gross Loans             3.69%       3.67%   0.02%       6.21%   -2.52%
  Total NPA to Assets         2.97%       3.07%  -0.10%       5.07%   -2.10%
  Net Charge-offs to                                                        
   Average Gross Loans        0.32%       0.12%   0.20%       0.59%   -0.27%
  ALLL to Loans, Net of                                                     
   Deferred Fees/Costs        2.77%       2.93%  -0.16%       3.28%   -0.51%
  ALLL to Non-Accrual                                                       
   Loans                    324.43%     404.38% -79.95%      83.40%      NM 
  ALLL to Non-                                                              
   Performing Loans          75.01%      79.79%  -4.78%      52.80%   22.21%
  Texas Ratio                 3.50%       3.71%  -0.21%      20.29%  -16.79%
                        ----------  ----------  ------  ----------  ------- 
                                                                            
                                                                            
                                                                            
 
                              Tweleve Months Ended      
                        ------------------------------- 
                         December    December      %    
                         31, 2012    31, 2011    Change 
                        ----------  ----------  ------- 
Performance Ratios:                                     
  Return on Average                                     
   Assets                     1.73%       0.46%    1.27%
  Return on Average                                     
   Equity                    14.31%       3.89%   10.42%
  Net Interest Margin         4.02%       3.62%    0.40%
  Cost of Funds               0.91%       1.11%   -0.20%
  Efficiency Ratio           47.69%      46.24%    1.45%
                                                        
Capital Ratios:                                         
  Tier 1 Leverage Ratio      12.18%      11.99%    0.19%
  Tier 1 Risk-Based                                     
   Capital Ratio             14.47%      14.13%    0.34%
  Total Risk-Based                                      
   Capital Ratio             15.74%      15.41%    0.33%
                                                        
Delinquent Loans, 30-89                                 
 Days Past-Due:         $      215  $    2,286       NM 
                                                        
Non-Performing Assets:                                  
  Total Non-Accrual                                     
   Loans                $    3,307  $   13,104   -74.76%
  90 Days or More Past-                                 
   Due and Still                                        
   Accruing                      -         729  -100.00%
  Accrual TDR Loans         10,996       6,867    60.12%
  Total Non-Performing                                  
   Loans                    14,303      20,700   -30.90%
                                                        
  Other Real Estate                                     
   Owned                         -           -        - 
  Total Non-Performing                                  
   Assets               $   14,303  $   20,700   -30.90%
                                                        
                                                        
Asset Quality Ratios:                                   
  Total Non-Accrual                                     
   Loans to Gross Loans       0.85%       3.93%   -3.08%
  Non-Performing Loans                                  
   to Gross Loans             3.69%       6.21%   -2.52%
  Total NPA to Assets         2.97%       5.07%   -2.10%
  Net Charge-offs to                                    
   Average Gross Loans        0.12%       1.72%   -1.60%
  ALLL to Loans, Net of                                 
   Deferred Fees/Costs        2.77%       3.28%   -0.51%
  ALLL to Non-Accrual                                   
   Loans                    324.43%      83.40%      NM 
  ALLL to Non-                                          
   Performing Loans          75.01%      52.80%   22.21%
  Texas Ratio                 3.50%      20.29%  -16.79%
                        ----------  ----------  ------- 

Kaye Kim EVP and CFO 323-988-3007

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