Continuing with its plan to focus on mortgages while also taking advantage of opportunities in other markets, Washington Trust Bancorp Inc., the parent company of The Washington Trust Co., last week reported a record quarterly profit of $8.4 million for the first quarter, which ended March 31.
It was the second straight quarter of record profits for the Westerly-based bank.
“This kind of performance is due to the efforts of all of the people that work at the company. We’re going to keep trying to do the best we can,” said Joseph J. MarcAurele, Washington Trust chairman, president and CEO. “We are obviously pleased with these results; it’s a great way to start the year. This was no easy task considering the difficult Rhode Island economy.”
The bank reported a net income of $8.4 million, a 19.4 percent increase over the $6.8 million reported at the same time last year.
One of the bank’s recent strategies has been to reach out to customers, MarcAurele said. He referenced a new branch in East Providence, the opening of its third branch office in Cranston later this year, at 2174 Plainfield Pike, and the new home-loan center, a mortgage loan-production office at 171 Service Ave. in Warwick. He also said that the bank will not expand for the sake of merely enlarging its presence.
“The key to our success has been our ability to strategically grow the corporation while adhering to the core values upon which Washington Trust was founded 212 years ago,” he said. “It’s important to keep our staffing levels in our retail branches strong. It’s important to provide personalized service to our customers. It’s the only way you can differentiate yourself from the competition.”
The bank’s ever-improving figures over the last two years stem from its exploration into new geographic markets.