Linihan Takes Helm at Citizens Bank in Tulsa

Oklahoma banker Monte Linihan has parlayed 30 years of commercial lending experience into the president’s seat at the Tulsa branch of Citizens Bank of Oklahoma.
Linihan, who took the position in late July, was most recently chief credit officer and president of the Nowata market for Regent Bank. Previous experience included credit positions at 1st Bank of Oklahoma in Claremore, Arvest Bank in Bartlesville and WestStar Bank in Tulsa. He started his commercial banking career in the Special Assets department of First Tulsa.
An Oologah native and product of the agricultural economics degree program at Oklahoma State University, Linihan said he saw opportunity in Citizens Bank’s “steady growth, location, the board, its ownership and their business contacts here in the city.”
“We just want to continue the emphasis on a good, strong, local commercial bank,” he said.
“I am looking forward to working with these folk and establishing relationships with new customers,” Linihan said. “I have been around, and I have done a little bit of all kinds of lending. I just want to learn these people’s background and what they have been through and try to continue to help them and obviously come out of this little downturn and help them grow stronger and faster.”
The bank has experienced double-digit growth in assets each year since it opened its 5,000-SF Tulsa branch at 3353 E. 41st St. in September 2004.
Starting at about $30 million in 2004, it closed out the first quarter of this year with $134.2 million in assets. Although that growth slowed some during the current economic downturn, the bank still experienced 16.3 percent growth in assets from Dec. 31, 2007, to Dec. 31, 2008.
While earnings showed a decline in the past year, loans and deposits continued to grow, according to FDIC reports. Net income attributable to the bank showed a 42.8 percent decline from $1.9 million at Dec. 31, 2007, to $1.09 million at Dec. 31, 2008.
Loans ended 2008 at $90 million, up 21.4 percent, and deposits grew 17.4 percent, totaling $115.4 million at year end.
Linihan said that even with the drop in earnings, the bank still showed a respectable return on assets of 0.91 percent for the year.
He said the loss in income was mainly due to a squeeze in margins, but that the bank also had to charge off some loans.
“We took some hits,” he said. “We budgeted $50,000 a month (for loan loss provisions) going into this year, while last year the budget was $10,000-15,000. We have had some losses this year, but the bank’s cooking along doing good. We have good customers, too. That’s the key.”
Linihan replaced Kip Herburger, who is opening a full-service branch of Central National Bank and Trust Co. of Enid in Tulsa as senior vice president and east regional manager.
He said under his leadership, the bank will continue to serve small- to medium-sized businesses and professionals.
“We are just trying to be there and accommodate them and be flexible,” he said. “We may do some things that don’t fit the box for BOk or Bank of America – kind of fill that niche.”

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