4Q Profitable for Metropolitan National Bank

Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock announced Friday a profit of $761,000 for the fourth quarter of 2012.

It was the bank's most profitable quarter since the third quarter of 2008 but not enough to overcome losses earlier in the year. For all of 2012, Metropolitan recorded a net loss of $1.9 million. That compares to a loss of $4.8 million in 2011.

"2012 proved to be a positive year for Metropolitan," President and CEO Lunsford W. Bridges said in the earnings release. "We reduced the bank's losses by more than 50 percent and decreased total non-performing assets by $81 million, a 44 percent reduction from the prior year."

Bridges said the annual loss was "consistent with our strategy to reduce non-performing assets without reducing capital levels." The bank's Tier 1 capital ratio as of Dec. 31 improved to 6.32 percent from 5.93 percent at the end of 2011, and its risk-based capital ratio improved to 10.54 percent from 9.35 percent a year earlier.

"The continued recovery of the real estate market in Arkansas, the dedication of bank staff and loyalty of our customers have certainly aided in the significant improvement in the financial position of Metropolitan. Our team is excited about serving our customers in 2013 and enhancing the value of our relationships," Bridges said.

The news release said Metropolitan's assets were "approximately" $1 billion. Its assets stood at $994.6 million as of Sept. 1, down from $1.05 billion at the end of Dec. 31.