John C. Black, CEO and Director of 1st Enterprise Bank (FENB), Interviews with The Wall Street Transcript

Wall Street Transcript

67 WALL STREET, New York - March 4, 2014 - The Wall Street Transcript has just published its Pacific and Southwest Banks Report offering a timely review of the sector to serious investors and industry executives. This special feature contains expert industry commentary through in-depth interviews with public company CEOs and Equity Analysts. The full issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

Topics covered: Interest Rates and Loan-Growth Strategies - Regulatory Outlook Gains Clarity - Heightened M&A Activity - Consolidation in Regional Banking - Prolonged Interest Rate Environment Challenges - Investing in Regional Banks - Pockets of Growth in Western Banking - Recovery in the Pacific Northwest

Companies include: 1st Enterprise Bank (FENB) and many more.

In the following excerpt from the Pacific and Southwest Banks Report, the CEO and Director of 1st Enterprise Bank discusses company strategy and the outlook for this vital sector:

TWST: Tell us about the loan portfolio now, and what your most important goals are going through 2014.

Mr. Black: We actually experienced record loan growth in 2012 as well as in 2013. Our loans were up last year about 24% year over year, point to point, and we anticipate this year to be another strong year of growth in loans and deposits. As we get bigger and those bases get bigger, percentages will decline year over year, but in terms of actual point-to-point growth, we expect very solid growth this year and the addition of many new commercial customers, while continuing to service our customer base the way we always have. We will remain consistent in our focus and our discipline and our customer-centric philosophy.

TWST: Where do you see your biggest strengths as well as your biggest opportunities?

Mr. Black: It continues to be a very challenging interest rate environment and a very challenging competitive environment. The major national banks as well as the large regionals and the local independent banks have all been searching for loan growth anywhere they can find it, which translates into intense pricing and structural competition. We try our best not to always compete solely on price and terms, because we believe we offer a much different commercial banking experience for our customers. Certainly the regulatory environment continues to evolve and continues to require more resources to stay ahead of the new requirements that continue to come along.

In terms of opportunities, we see the local economy in Southern California improving modestly but consistently, and our customer base continues to do better than in prior years. We will continue to build upon our market share in this very large market. We definitely see the opportunity to expand our market share of high-quality business customers....

For more of this interview and many others visit the Wall Street Transcript - a unique service for investors and industry researchers - providing fresh commentary and insight through verbatim interviews with CEOs, portfolio managers and research analysts. This special issue is available by calling (212) 952-7433 or via The Wall Street Transcript Online.

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