MidFirst Earnings Up 24 Percent

MidFirst reports earnings rose 24 percent for 2008, totaling $277.9 million. It compares to $224.3 million for the same period last year.
Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $64.8 million compared to $60.4 million in the same quarter of 2007. Results for 2008 are unaudited.
Assets grew about $1.7 billion, or 13 percent, over the prior year driven primarily by growth in government-backed mortgage loans and commercial loans.
MidFirst’s combined regulatory capital and reserve base was about $1.1 billion at Dec. 31.
“MidFirst has been able to sustain its growth this year despite the challenging economy. Prudent commercial lending and conservative mortgage banking strategies have served us well in these trying times,” said Jeff Records, chairman of MidFirst.
“We have avoided the high-risk mortgage strategies that are afflicting some financial institutions. Our primary focus in mortgage lending is in smaller home loans backed by the FHA and VA programs. Through these government programs we have been able to assist homeowners without exposing our bank to the dangerous credit risks that are making headlines. As the financial markets continue to struggle, we are confident that the strength of our balance sheet, and the diversity of our operating strategies will help sustain the bank’s performance,” Records said.
“While we are pleased with the bank’s financial results for this year, we recognize that we are operating in volatile and uncertain financial markets, and we remain vigilant in managing our credit risk and maintaining our loan loss reserves at appropriate levels. Despite the significant uncertainty within the economy, however, we remain committed to our continued expansion plans in Oklahoma and Arizona, and think now is the time to be investing in the future of the bank,” Records said.
Records also announced the retirement of Bob Dilg as president and CEO of the bank, consistent with Dilg’s longer-term plans.
MidFirst is Oklahoma’s second largest bank and the second largest privately owned bank in the U.S., with 50 offices and more than 100 ATMs across Oklahoma.
MidFirst is a member of the Midland Group of Cos. and is Oklahoma owned and operated. The 55-year-old Midland Group employs about 1,600 employees.

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