Message from the President
Saluting Our Past. Shaping Our Future
We are proud to celebrate 95 strong years of service to our customers and our community. Ninety-five years ago, Citizens Trust Bank opened its doors as a pillar in its community and a catalyst for financial empowerment and well-being for all.
Our mission was simple:
››To promote financial stability,
››To promote business growth and development,
››To stress the principles of thrift, and
››To expand access to home ownership.
How we deliver service may be changing but we continue to be guided by these principles by responding to the needs of the community we serve—one customer and one financial transaction at a time.
Since our beginning in 1921, the world in which we conduct business has changed dramatically. From face to face customer interactions to a fast-paced, digital society that now demands rapid and continuous exchange of information online, including financial transactions. Citizens Trust Bank has responded to these market shifts by expanding our electronic platform while still providing the personal touch service that makes us unique to our customers when or if they need it. This rich history and legacy has provided us the foundation and the inspiration to continue to innovate and seek ways to continue to drive shareholder value.
STRENGTH AND STABILITY
The solvency of our Company remains strong. In an era where bank closures and mergers
are commonplace, Citizens Bancshares remains a very solid financial institution. We are a well-capitalized bank with capital ratios
of at least 2.1 times the regulatory minimum. Such capital strength allows our Company the ability to remain competitive and pursue
opportunities to expand our franchise and increase shareholder value. Further, our Company has made important
strides in driving strategic initiatives to optimize the mix of our balance sheet to generate solid earnings, maintain efficient Company operations and
sustain a strong balance sheet through prudent risk management.
During 2015, while we experienced improved loan production, the growth was mitigated by our strategy to exit several
large credit facilities from the portfolio. As a result we saw a $4 million decline in net loans outstanding but a 27% decline
in nonperforming loans to total loans compared to last year. The execution of this strategy strengthened our balance
sheet and further improved the risk profile of our loan portfolio. Despite the headwinds of continued net interest margin compression and a strict
regulatory environment, we maintained consistent earnings in comparison to last year through prudent balance sheet management
and efficient Company operations. Though 2015 was a respectful year, we must continue to drive operational excellence, focus on utilizing the liquidity
on our balance sheet to fund higher yielding consumer and business loans, and evolve into a more agile operating model that leverages our understanding of our current and prospective customers in a rapidly changing environment.
From our humble beginnings on “Sweet Auburn,” our Company has expanded services offered to meet the evolving demands of today’s consumers. To that end, we have responded to a connected society with solutions that equip our customers in a mobile world. Our suite of digital solutions, including
a mobile responsive website (www.ctbconnect.com) and a mobile app, CTB Mobile, ensure convenient access and delivery of service for our customers.
These digital platforms and mobile solutions make managing financial transactions easy and convenient. They enable customers to access their accounts, perform transactions, pay their bills and receive online account approvals at the touch of a finger.
With an enhanced digital infrastructure, our Company employs technology to drive operational efficiencies and improve the customer experience.
Innovations allow us to connect with and serve the needs of a new audience of prospective and underbanked customers. Our significant progress
and ongoing expansion in the digital realm is shaping the future ahead and our ability to connect.
GROWTH THROUGH ACCESS
Staying true to our guiding principle to promote growth and development of businesses in and around our community, through our many credit
options, we are focused and committed to utilizing our capital to grow and expand businesses which support and build thriving communities.
Similarly, we are also committed to partnering with our consumer customers by providing access to credit solutions that help bring their dreams into reality. We are ready to stand firm on the success of these principles and have dedicated the resources to back up our commitment. From our investment in associates that provide assistance and access to these solutions to the continued investment in technology for convenience and ease of delivery, we are investing where our commitment lies and are responding with a win/win relationship that enhances value for all.
As our Company strives to meet everyday demands, we continue providing exceptional, personalized experiences for our customers. They are the cornerstone of our business, and our commitment to serving them is fundamental to our success. The ever-changing marketplace requires our Company to find new ways to keep pace with current trends. We are rising to the challenge of attracting and engaging the next
generation of banking customers, the fastest-growing and most connected generation, who are more educated and technology driven than previous generations. However, many of our customers still like banking the traditional way. We are okay with that as well. We are good at maintaining a delicate balance between responding to current trends and caring for the customized needs of our core customers.
SHAPING THE FUTURE
We understand that when our shareholders and our customers partner with us, they trust us to help build a secure future for their families.That’s why our commitment to you is the same: We will act responsibly with the trust that you have placed in us. We take seriously the desire to provide a secure future for generations to come. We promise to keep innovating financial solutions for today with tomorrow in mind, because building futures is our business. Though our Company will continue to evolve in an ever-changing world to meet our customers’ needs,
our values will remain the same.
We thank our associates for their hard work, diligence and customer focus that make our Company successful. We thank our Board of Directors for their commitment, guidance and support in our consistent pursuit of enhancing shareholder value and thank you, our shareholders, for your investment and continued support.