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Why Salisbury Bancorp Inc (NASDAQ:SAL) May Not Be As Risky Than You Think

Brandy Kinsey

Post-GFC recovery has led to improving credit quality and a strong growth environment for the banking sector. Economic growth impacts the stability of salaries and interest rate level which in turn affects borrowers’ demand for, and ability to repay, their loans. As a small-cap bank with a market capitalisation of US$124.14m, Salisbury Bancorp Inc’s (NASDAQ:SAL) profit and value are directly affected by economic activity. Risk associate with repayment is measured by the level of bad debt which is an expense written off Salisbury Bancorp’s bottom line. Since the level of risky assets held by the bank impacts the attractiveness of it as an investment, I will take you through three metrics that are insightful proxies for risk. Check out our latest analysis for Salisbury Bancorp

NasdaqCM:SAL Historical Debt June 21st 18

Does Salisbury Bancorp Understand Its Own Risks?

Salisbury Bancorp’s ability to forecast and provision for its bad loans indicates it has a good understanding of the level of risk it is taking on. If the bank provisions for more than 100% of the bad debt it actually writes off, then it is considered to be relatively prudent and accurate in its bad debt provisioning. Given its high bad loan to bad debt ratio of 138.56% Salisbury Bancorp has cautiously over-provisioned 38.56% above the appropriate minimum, indicating a safe and prudent forecasting methodology, and its ability to anticipate the factors contributing to its bad loan levels.

How Much Risk Is Too Much?

Salisbury Bancorp’s operations expose it to risky assets by lending to borrowers who may not be able to repay their loans. Generally, loans that are “bad” and cannot be recovered by the bank should make up less than 3% of its total loans. Loans are written off as expenses when they are not repaid, which comes directly out of Salisbury Bancorp’s profit. A ratio of 0.61% indicates the bank faces relatively low chance of default and exhibits strong bad debt management.

How Big Is Salisbury Bancorp’s Safety Net?

Handing Money Transparent

Salisbury Bancorp makes money by lending out its various forms of borrowings. Deposits from customers tend to bear the lowest risk given the relatively stable amount available and interest rate. The general rule is the higher level of deposits a bank holds, the less risky it is considered to be. Since Salisbury Bancorp’s total deposit to total liabilities is very high at 90.73% which is well-above the prudent level of 50% for banks, Salisbury Bancorp may be too cautious with its level of deposits and has plenty of headroom to take on risker forms of liability.

Next Steps:

SAL’s acquisition will impact the business moving forward. Keep an eye on how this decision plays out in the future, especially on its financial health and earnings growth. The list below is my go-to checks for SAL. I use Simply Wall St’s platform to keep informed about any changes in the company and market sentiment, and also use their data as the basis for my articles.

  1. Future Outlook: What are well-informed industry analysts predicting for SAL’s future growth? Take a look at our free research report of analyst consensus for SAL’s outlook.
  2. Historical Performance: What has SAL’s returns been like over the past? Go into more detail in the past track record analysis and take a look at the free visual representations of our analysis for more clarity.
  3. Other High-Performing Stocks: Are there other stocks that provide better prospects with proven track records? Explore our free list of these great stocks here.


To help readers see pass the short term volatility of the financial market, we aim to bring you a long-term focused research analysis purely driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis does not factor in the latest price sensitive company announcements.

The author is an independent contributor and at the time of publication had no position in the stocks mentioned.