Latest News


Bank First reports a 6.1% increase in earnings for first quarter 2014

(4/17/2014)

Bank First, subsidiary of the parent company First Manitowoc Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: BFNC), reported net income for the first quarter of 2014 of $3.2 million, compared to net income of $3.0 million in the prior year quarter of 2013. Earnings per share increased 8.7% to $0.50 from $0.46 over the same period as the company continued its share repurchase program.

“Our first quarter results were fueled by the continued growth of our core banking business with loans increasing by 9.6% to $840 million and core deposits increasing by 9.9% to $918 million.  Most importantly, our asset quality trends continue to be strong with nonperforming assets to total assets improving to 0.61% at quarter-end 2014, down from 0.94% in the prior year quarter,” said Mike Molepske, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank First.“We continue to experience strong organic growth in loans and deposits in all of our markets. Over the past year, we’ve experienced increased lending activity to our existing customers.”

Total non-interest income was $1.9 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2014, compared to $2.2 million in the prior year quarter. The decline in non-interest income is due to a decline in secondary market mortgage activities. Revenue from the sale of mortgages and related fees declined by $325,000 to $107,000 in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the prior year quarter.

“We continue to invest in talent, our current facilities, technology and geographical expansion, which is our recipe to continue to deliver exceptional returns to our shareholders,” added Molepske.


Heartbleed Bug update

(4/14/2014)

Bank First's Internet Banking system has been confirmed safe and is not vulnerable to the Heartbleed Bug. It is always good practice to keep your banking passwords unique and to change them frequently.

Read statements from the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA)
Learn more about the Heartbleed Bug from Mashable
Tips: Keeping Your Information Safe Online


Bank First purchases the former Associated Bank property in Valders

(2/27/2014)

Bank First announced today the purchase of the former Associated Bank property located at 167 Lincoln Street in Valders. Official closing of the property took place on February 21, 2014. Terms of the agreement state a six-month delay in property use, which means Bank First will first open their doors at the new location on August 1. At that time Bank First will close their office located 109 S. Fourth Avenue in St. Nazianz.

“We are excited about the opportunity to grow new relationships in the Valders area, while maintaining the relationships we have with our customers in St. Nazianz,” stated Mike Molepske, President and CEO of Bank First. “Community banks play an important role for individuals and businesses alike and we fully understand the importance of having a local bank with local decision makers. Our customers enjoy receiving the personal attention they deserve, while having access to innovative products and services that are value driven.”

With assets of $1.06 billion as of December 31, 2013, Bank First reported net income of $11.6 million last year. Headquartered in Manitowoc, Bank First will celebrate 120 years in business this year. The bank currently has 12 offices located in Manitowoc, Sheboygan, Brown and Winnebago counties.


Bank First declares quarterly common stock cash dividend for shareholders 

(1/31/2014)

Bank First, the bank subsidiary of First Manitowoc Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: BFNC) announced that its Board of Directors approved a quarterly common stock cash dividend of $0.11 per common share payable on April 4, 2014, to shareholders of record as of March 21, 2014. The dividend is unchanged from the prior quarterly dividend of $0.11 per share.


Beware of new credit card scam

(1/30/2014)

The Better Business Bureau has recently issued a new warning to consumers of a new credit card scam. With this new con, scammers are banking on the fact that many consumers don’t check their credit card statements all that carefully. Don’t fall for it. Review your recent statements for unexplained charges of $9.84 and contest them with your bank or credit card issuer (call the number on the back of your card).

For more information on how the scam works, visit http://www.bbb.org/blog/2014/01/watch-out-for-9-84-credit-card-charges/


Bank First reports 50% increase in fourth quarter net income

(1/23/2014)

Manitowoc, January 23, 2014 - Bank First, subsidiary of the parent company First Manitowoc Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: BFNC), today reported net income of $2.9 million, or $0.45 per share for the fourth quarter 2013, as compared to $2.0 million, or $0.30 per share, for the fourth quarter 2012. For the year ended December 31, 2013, Bank First reported net income of $11.6 million, or $1.79 per share, as compared to $10.4 million, or $1.58 per share, for the year ended December 31, 2012.

“The growth of our core bank has generated 11% growth in annual earnings for 2013 as compared to 2012,” said Mike Molepske, President and Chief Executive Officer at Bank First. “Our return on average assets was 1.15% for 2013, up from 1.11% in 2012. Our strong asset quality trends are also positively contributing to our profitability with a reduced provision for loan loss for 2013.”  

“The Bank First relationship-based model of growing one relationship at a time has yielded 13% loan growth and 6% core deposit growth on a year-over-year basis. Net interest income before provision for loan losses grew by $1.8 million, or 5%, for the year, reaching $34.1 million compared to $32.3 million in 2012,” Molepske continued. “Our growth is being generated in all four regions of the bank with the majority of the growth generated in our newest offices. As we look ahead to 2014, we are executing our strategy for continued organic growth with our recent announcement to start a new office in the Appleton market. We will focus on adding new relationships in our footprint and delivering on our promise to our employees, customers and shareholders.”  

2013 Highlights:
• Total loans grew 13%  in 2013 to $823 million, or $92 million of growth
• Total deposits grew 6% in 2013 to $919 million, or $50 million of growth  
• Net interest margin was 3.82% for 2013, compared to 3.90% in 2012
• Nonperforming assets to total assets were 0.53%, compared to 0.96% at December 31, 2012
• Return on average assets was 1.15%, up from 1.11% a year earlier

Operating Performance:
Interest income was $39.0 million for 2013, up $829,000 from $38.2 million in 2012. Interest expense was $4.9 million, down $934,000 from $5.8 million in 2012.  As a result, net interest income grew by $1.8 million in 2013 to $34.1 million. Average loans increased by $72.7 million during 2013 and were generated primarily from our newest markets. Average deposits increased by $34.8 million with a majority of the growth generated in our headquarters Manitowoc County market.

Noninterest income was $6.7 million for the year 2013, down from $8.4 million in 2012. The decline in noninterest income resulted from losses on the sales of investment securities and a decline in residential mortgage activity in 2013 compared to 2012.

Noninterest expense was $22.8 million, down from $23.3 million in 2012. During 2013 we continued to invest in innovative products and solutions for our customers. We introduced mobile deposits for smart phone and the iPad app, demonstrating our investment on an easier banking experience for our customers.

The efficiency ratio decreased from 55.6% to 54.1% in 2013 due to growth in core banking, which more than offset the slowdown in mortgage refinancing activity. Full-time equivalent staff was 154 at December 31, 2013, compared to 166 for 2012.

Nonperforming assets decreased from $9.8 million at December 31, 2012, to $5.6 million at December 31, 2013. The improvement in asset quality is driven by a decline in other real estate owned, which was $3.0 million at December 31, 2013, down from $5.7 million in 2012.  As a result of improving credit quality trends, provision expense for 2013 was lower than 2012 by $ 1.4 million.

Total assets are $1.06 billion at December 31, 2013, up 4% from $1.02 billion at December 31, 2012. Loan growth of $92 million during 2013 is the driver of asset growth. The newer markets in Sheboygan and Winnebago counties impacted the loan growth the most. Core deposits also exhibited strong growth with $50 million of growth generated from new relationships, as well as growth from our existing customer base.  

Return on average assets was 1.15% for 2013, up from 1.11% for 2012. Return on average equity was 11.6%, up from 10.7% in 2012. Earnings growth has positively impacted capital ratios and is supporting the expansion plans for 2014.

“Our strong credit quality, improving profitability and sound capital base provide us with the opportunity to invest in talent, technology and resources as a recipe to deliver our Bank First service model in current and new markets,” added Molepske. “We remain focused on growing high quality market share one relationship at a time in our footprint and in geographies adjacent to our footprint. This disciplined approach has translated into core revenue growth and sustained profitability,” Molepske stated.


Bank First announces plans for a new office in the Fox Valley

(1/10/2014)

Bank First, the bank subsidiary of First Manitowoc Bancorp, Inc. (OTCQB: BFNC), announces its plans for a new office near Appleton. “Bank First’s strong and stable performance has provided us the resources to construct a new office in the Appleton area,” stated Mike Molepske, President and CEO. Third-quarter financial results show the bank has yielded 11% loan growth and 12% core deposit growth on a year-over-year basis, and has recorded net income of $8.7 million for the first nine months of this year.

Pending municipal and regulatory approvals, the bank will construct a new office at 4201 W. Wisconsin Avenue in the Town of Grand Chute near the Fox River Mall. Developer Bob Gregorski purchased the prime one-acre property of the former Paradise Club in late 2013. The bank will lease the property and has plans to open its doors in late 2014. “Our strategic vision to grow our footprint into adjacent markets aligns perfectly with this new location,” stated Molepske. “It bridges the gap between our Green Bay and Oshkosh offices and allows our relationship managers the opportunity to build further relationships in the Fox Valley area.”

“This new office will position us well to continue serving and growing our existing Fox Valley customer base. Working together with our recent hire Bill Bradley, Vice President, we are expanding the team who will continue to focus on personalized service and solutions to individuals and family-owned, closely-held businesses,” stated Joan Woldt, Regional President.


Target Data Breach

Target announced Thursday, December 19, that as many as 40 million of its customers who used their credit and debit cards to make in-store purchases may have been affected by a data breach. Target states customers who made purchases using their credit or debit cards November 27-December 15 may have had their names, card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes exposed.

When breaches like this take place, merchants work with debit and credit card companies to identify what information has been exposed to unauthorized parties. Once it has been determined whose information has been exposed, a list of the compromised cardholders is then shared with the affected financial institutions.

If you used your Bank First debit card at Target between November 27-December 15, we recommend the following:

  1. Monitor your account. As this breach is said to have affected both credit and debit cardholders, as well as the checking account information of Target REDcard users. We recommend monitoring your checking account transactions. The easiest way to do so is through your Internet Banking. Not enrolled? You can do so now by clicking here.
  2. Visit your local Bank First office. If you suspect your account has been compromised visit the nearest Bank First office.
  3. Watch your mailbox. If your card information has been compromised, Bank First will send you a notification letter with additional information.