Committed to our True Arizona Community Banking Roots
By Brian Ruisinger, President and Chief Executive Officer
As we take a moment of pause to reflect on 2021, we see a tremendous effort by our team that is highlighted by the formation of a holding company, raising of capital, a full scope regulatory exam, robust loan and deposit growth and finally, record earnings.
As a result of our exceptional 2021 performance, annual incentives were earned in Q4, driving our expense line higher than in comparative quarters. We are excited to see our team achieve results above and beyond strategic goals and are thrilled to reward them for their efforts. Much of our loan growth occurred late in the year, which will be beneficial to a strong earnings start for 2022. Our pipeline remains strong. Certainly, the lingering effects of the pandemic remain present largely in the form of an extremely tight labor market.
The Phoenix banking market has seen consolidation in recent months with two Arizona chartered banks announcing plans to sell to out of state entities. With these recent announcements while new start-up banks are coming on line, the competition for talent remains a priority for RBAZ, as in most other industries at this time. RBAZ remains committed to its independence and true Arizona community banking roots.
We are grateful for the patience of our shareholders and are hopeful that recent performance has been pleasing and given them confidence in our team’s ability to continue on our path to be the premier Arizona-based community business bank. RBAZ remains well capitalized and poised for continued growth, as reflected in our Bauer Five-Star bank rating.