FNCB reports improvement, plans growth
By Denise Allabaugh / Published: May 3, 2017
FNCB Bancorp. Inc., the parent company of FNCB Bank, has experienced a major financial turnaround and is now embarking on a plan to build new facilities and consolidate select locations.
FNCB’s plan includes relocating branches at 27 North River St., Plains Twp.; 3 Old Boston Road, Jenkins Township and 734 Sans Souci Parkway, Hanover Twp. to a new facility to be constructed in the Richland 315 development on Route 315 in Plains Twp.
It also includes developing a new facility in the Taylor Commons shopping complex in Taylor, analyzing development options for a new building at South Blakely and East Drinker streets in Dunmore on a current customer parking lot, and consolidating the Honesdale Route 6 branch into the Honesdale Main Street branch.
The plan was announced after FNCB reported a 92 percent increase in earnings and a net income of nearly $2.2 million for the first quarter of 2017. That marks more than a $1 million increase from the first quarter of 2016.
FNCB also saw a 4.6 percent growth in net interest income and year-over-year growth in total deposits of $40.3 million or 4.6 percent.
According to FNCB, the earnings improvement was largely due to a tax credit for loan and lease losses resulting from a recovery of a previously charged-off loan. Earnings also were impacted by higher net interest income and non-interest income.
“For the remainder of the year, we are focusing on developing opportunities that will provide for meaningful, profitable and sustainable revenue growth for the future,” said Gerard A. Champi, president and chief executive officer.
Building new facilities
As FNCB improved its financial position, the bank announced a plan intended to better position and expand its market coverage.
Champi said the plan to build new facilities “reflects an internal analysis of our service footprint and evolving customer delivery channels, combined with an evaluation of the ongoing functionality of our existing service locations.”
“We remain committed to a strong customer service presence across our Northeastern Pennsylvania service area driven by a robust branch system that provides an efficient and effective banking experience for customers,” Champi said. “This additional investment in our banking network is consistent with other recent spending to relocate or renovate branch locations, as well as continued investment in the latest technology that enables customers to remotely transact their banking business.”
Chief Financial Officer James Bone said FNCB officials are trying to “utilize capital the best we can.” He would not say how much FNCB is investing in its plan but he said “it’s a significant portion of our budget.”
“This is a capital improvement plan and we think it’s the right thing to do,” Bone said.
FNCB also recently opened a new lending center in a building that it acquired and renovated at 106 East Drinker St., next to the bank’s main office in Dunmore. The new office houses both the residential mortgage and commercial lending sales teams.
In upcoming weeks and months, FNCB officials said they will communicate with customers, shareholders and other stakeholders to update progress.
FNCB branches in Plains Twp., Pittston and Hanover Twp. will close after the new facility opens in Richland 315, Bone said.
He expects the new facility, which will have multiple drive-through lanes, will open in mid-2018.
Employees at the closing branches will be moved into other positions, he said.
As more people are banking online, FNCB has become one of many banks closing and consolidating branches.
“We’re seeing evolving customer demographics,” Bone said. “A lot of people don’t walk into brick and mortar branches.”
The new facility will be constructed next to Dunkin’ Donuts on less than an acre of an 8.5-acre parcel on state Route 315 being developed by Richland Real Estate Investments.
Robert Tamburro, company principal, said he is excited about the development.
“Over the years, this corridor has become more prominent,” Tamburro said. “More and more, Route 315 is becoming an important thoroughfare for the Wyoming Valley. I think it’s positive.”
A smaller tenant will be located in the 5,200 square-foot building with the bank, Tamburro said.
A 54,000-square-foot office building also will be constructed on the site and Scranton-based Hinerfeld Commercial Real Estate will lease the building to tenants, he said.
“We’re seeking professional business tenants,” said realtor Griff Keefer. “It’s going to be a mixed use campus.”
Construction of the office building will start once the first major lease is secured, Keefer said.
The Cabin Armory and Training Center, a firearm training facility which features an indoor shooting range and a gun store, recently opened in the development behind Dunkin’ Donuts.
Tamburro also has been in discussions with Pennsylvania Department of Transportation officials to make improvements to the road leading to the nearby Timber Ridge Health Care Center, the former Valley Crest Nursing Home.
Luzerne County Council members voted in 2015 to enter a sales agreement with Tamburro, who paid more than $2 million for the 62.3-acre property off Route 315.
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