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|Articles - March 2014|
|Tuesday, February 25, 2014|
Page 5 of 5
Looking backward while looking forward
An intangible, money is becoming even less concrete as it manifests as pixels on a computer screen — although the technological changes under way in the digital-money sector are moving at a far slower pace than technology at large. Perhaps that’s to be expected, as much of this technology is geared toward enhancing money’s age-old functions.
Today digital money innovations revolve as much around rectifying flaws in the current financial system as boosting efficiencies. Consumers and businesses want to trust the people and institutions managing their money. They want a stable currency. They want to send and receive cash. They want access to loans. They want to feel a connection to local businesses. These goals haven’t changed much over generations, but new technologies, unthinkable decades ago, may make such objectives easier to achieve.
Banks bounce back
Banks may not be hotbeds of mobile finance innovation, but in 2013, many Oregon financial institutions reported record earnings, a sign the region’s economy is on the upswing and that local banks are regaining their footing in the wake of the 2008 economic collapse. Bank executives credit strong performance to the power of niche banking, personal relationships and a decline in problem loans.
Capital Pacific Bank
In 2013 Capital Pacific’s loan portfolio clocked in at $187.98 million, up 18% from 2012. Deposits rose 19% to $207 million. “We know exactly why we have been successful,” says CEO Mark Stevenson. “It’s the power of niche banking.” More than half the bank’s deposits come from nonprofits and schools. Capital Pacific also markets itself aggressively as an eco-friendly bank, and 12% of deposits now come from organizations with a sustainability focus or a commitment to green practices. A business-focused institution, Capital Pacific isn’t subject to the increased regulatory costs connected to consumer banking. And in an era when banks are announcing branch closures, Capital Pacific’s lone branch status creates financial and operational benefits. Says Stevenson: “With only one location, we can be more efficient.”
Willamette Community Bank
Net income for the year increased by 61% over 2012, marking the most profitable year in the bank’s 10-year history. Loan growth and a new management team helped drive profitability, says Stewart Williams, senior vice president of marketing. “We saw loan growth in the Willamette Valley, where we have a number of small-business and medium- business customers looking to expand.” The new management team, led by CEO Dan McDowell, also implemented operational efficiencies. “What you’re seeing is the effect of new leadership coming in,” Williams says.
Pacific Continental Bank
In 2013, Pacific Continental reported a record profit of $13.8 million, up about 9% from 2012. Expansion of the bank’s dental lending program helped drive growth, says CFO Mick Reynolds. In 2012 the bank expanded this program nationally, and Pacific Continental now has active dental loans in 30 states, representing about $300 million of its $1 billion loan portfolio. Like most banks, Pacific Continental continues to see a decline in problem loans; the bank’s successful acquisition of Century Bank in Eugene and the “high retention level of that client base” also helped grow business, Reynolds says. But the biggest factor may be the corporate culture and employees. Hoopla over mobile and online banking notwithstanding, “banking is a people-to-people business, especially on the business side,” says Reynolds. “Our people have been critical to our success.”
Thursday, March 19, 2015
BY DAN COOK | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan
An alliance of developers, academics and timber industry executives wants to position Oregon as a front runner in the glamorous new world of wooden skyscrapers.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER
Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development.
Thursday, March 26, 2015
Cycling to work is all the rage. But not everyone wants to arrive at the office messy, sweaty — and unfashionable.
Wednesday, March 04, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR
On Wednesday night, a couple days ahead of the 2015 season kickoff, Major League Soccer and the Players Union reached an agreement.
Monday, February 23, 2015
Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN
A new energy-sharing agreement sparks concerns about independence and collaboration in the region's utility industry.
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR
Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.
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A new report highlights how Oregon bankers are giving back to their communities.
Since 1932 Tidewater Transportation & Terminals (operating as Tidewater Barge Lines and Tidewater Terminal Company) has operated a multicommodity transportation and terminal company based in Vancouver, Washington. The friendly expression on the company’s shipping containers reflects the attitude of about 330 safety and community-conscious employees but belies how complicated the barge business really is.
The Port of The Dalles has run marine facilities since the 1930s, but they are part of a larger mission to strengthen the local economy. They focus on regional economic development with a strong bent toward adding good-paying jobs in high tech, manufacturing and other industries.
The Atkinson Graduate School of Management at Willamette University has maintained its business accreditation by AACSB International—The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.
Like the advent of the locomotive, the cloud creates business opportunities that simply weren’t possible before now. Get up to speed fast in May at an exciting cloud-empowered Portland event.
Registration is now open for Portland Business Alliance’s Annual Meeting, one of the largest business gatherings in Portland each year.