St. Petersburg-based BayFirst National Bank, formerly known as First Home Bank, saw its total assets increase by 3.75% in the second quarter of 2022, rising from $888.54 million to $921.85 million, according to a news release issued by parent company BayFirst Financial Corp.
Loan production, the release states, was up by 200%, fueled by one of the best quarters for SBA loans in the bank’s history. However, deposits dropped by $4.7 million, or 0.6%, to $765.4 million, driven by decreases in savings and money-market account balances.
Noninterest expenses declined by $2.7 million, or 10%, to $24.9 million in the second quarter, driven by a sharp drop in salaries and benefits, as the company eliminated its residential mortgage division and reduced its workforce from 575 to 485 full-time employees.
“The second quarter represented a dramatic turnaround quarter for the company,” CEO Anthony Leo states in the release. “We produced excellent core loan growth, improved operating expenses and expanded our net interest margin by 48 basis points compared to the prior quarter. The investments we made to expand our nationwide SBA production team earlier in the year are paying off, with SBA 7(a) loan production of $90 million during the quarter.
“Our SBA business acceleration was in part due to a new lending product, BOLT, that we launched during the quarter to originate SBA loans of $150,000 or less, which is in high demand and carries an 85% government guaranty. Our net interest margin benefited from the recent interest rate increases enacted by the Federal Reserve, and we are well positioned to benefit even further in future periods as our SBA loan portfolio rates are tied to prime, with the majority of them resetting quarterly.”
Leo, in the release, says BayFirst plans to open two new banking centers later this year, which would bring its total number of branches to nine.
“Our organization is focused on building our community banking franchise in Tampa Bay, supported by national business lines to provide the revenue engine to build out and support our community bank,” he states. “While we will continue to support small business owners and homebuyers across the country through our SBA and residential mortgage divisions, we remain a St. Petersburg-based, independent bank focused on making a difference in our own community and in the lives of those we serve.”