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Growing a Brighter
Future Together.

2021 Annual Report

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To the Liberty Bank Community,

In 2021, we never lost our sense of purpose. We doubled down, committed to helping our customers and communities navigate the pandemic’s tumultuous challenges. We remained steadfast in our pursuit to build the community bank of the future and responded with resolve, resiliency, collaboration and kindness.

It speaks volumes about who we are, our mission, vision and values and our commitment to growing a brighter future together.

Started the Transition from ‘Business Continuity’ Back to ‘Business As Usual’

If 2020 was a year of ‘business continuity’ due to the pandemic, then 2021 marked the year of moving closer to a ‘business as usual’ environment.

The well-being of our teammates remained a top priority. We welcomed over 300 teammates working from home back to our Corporate Offices. Also, our branch teammates did what they’ve always done during the pandemic: make sacrifices to provide extraordinary customer experiences every time someone walked through our doors or passed through our drive up windows.

We delivered record earnings, bringing our total assets to $7.4 billion. We refreshed our three-year strategic plan to assess our operating environment, identify new opportunities and extend our planning horizon.

Liberty helped 2,276 individual businesses secure the relief they needed during the pandemic through the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. We evaluated our customers’ online banking experience and enlisted industry-leading partners to advance our digital transformation.

We extended our I-91 corridor commercial lending business from New Haven and Hartford to Western Massachusetts. We developed a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan to continue to grow a more diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.

We launched our rebranding campaign – “Be Community Kind” – because being a community kind bank helps our customers and communities thrive. This includes dedicating more than $1.5 million to local organizations coupled with employee volunteerism.

We accomplished all of this despite the pandemic. It comes as no surprise we were voted a Hartford Courant Top Workplace for the 10th consecutive year and 2021 Best-in-State Bank by Forbes Magazine.

Our Future is Bright but Challenges Persist

While we work to make our future – and the future of our customers and communities – brighter in 2022, challenges persist.

However, we will bring forward momentum from 2021 to execute on strategic initiatives like upgrading our digital banking platform; replacing our ATM fleet; leveraging market disruption; finalizing our strategy to build a digital bank; and more.

I want to thank my teammates for the sacrifices they made in 2021. Because of them – and our Board of Directors and Corporators – we remain in a position of financial strength, talent and opportunity. I am more optimistic than ever about Liberty’s future.

Sincerely, 

David W. Glidden Signature

David W. Glidden, President & CEO

2021 Finances

Record Earnings while positioning the Bank for profitable growth in 2022 and beyond

Liberty Bank’s earnings performance for 2021 achieved record levels despite the continued significant impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, low interest rate environment and excess liquidity. The Bank achieved an all-time high for Net Income of $81.2 million!

Consolidated Statements of Income

For the years ended December 31, 
(dollars in thousands)
2021 2020
Net interest income $165,746 $154,374
Fee income 48,257 49,850
Operating Revenue 214,003 204,224
Operating Expense (155,707) (148,885)
Pre-Provision Net Revenue 58,296 55,339
Loan loss provision 5,521 (49,450)
Capital gains 39,426 41,840
Provision for income taxes (22,053) (10,591)
Net income $81,190 $37,138

Consolidated Balance Sheets

At December 31, 
(dollars in thousands)
2021 2020
Assets
Cash and investments $2,997,973 $2,210,395
Loans:

Consumer residential 879,876 969,215
Consumer 280,336 312,782
Commercial mortgages 2,074,605 2,089,794
Commercial 890,909 1,179,927
Gross loans 4,125,726 4,551,718
Loan loss reserves (71,915) (81,807)
Loans, net 4,053,811 4,469,911
Other assets 349,247 293,575
Total assets $7,401,031 $6,973,881
Liabilities and Capital
Deposits 5,927,804 5,549,268
Federal Home Loan Bank borrowings 364,853 381,121
Other liabilities 181,228 196,902
Total liabilities 6,473,885 6,127,291
Capital 927,146 846,590
Total liabilities and capital $7,401,031 $6,973,881

Four-Year Comparisons

For the years ended December 31
(dollars in thousands)
2021 2020 2019 2018
Pre Provision Net Revenue 58,296 55,339 59,327 48,446
Net income 81,190 37,138 65,285 71,566
         
Total assets 7,401,031 6,973,881 5,812,145 5,092,876
Loan loss reserves 71,915 81,807 37,007 34,507
Net loans 4,053,811 4,469,911 4,204,958 3,860,917
Deposits 5,927,804 5,549,268 4,430,910 3,663,348
Capital 927,146 846,590 800,203 738,877
Ratios:        
Return on average assets 1.12% 0.57% 1.24% 1.48%
Net interest income to average assets 2.29% 2.38% 2.93% 3.03%
Capital to assets 12.5% 12.1% 13.8% 14.5%
Non-performing assets to total assets 0.19% 0.28% 0.18% 0.27%
Loan loss reserves to non-performing loans 504% 419% 348% 262%

Strong performance while investing for future success

Our record setting financial performance is even more impressive given that we also continued to invest in both our teammates and strategic initiatives we had identified before the pandemic. We refreshed our three-year Strategic Plan and prioritized investments critical to our future success.

Despite the continued low interest rate environment and economic challenges, we were able to achieve $165.7 million of Net Interest Income; 7.4% better than 2020. We significantly reduced funding costs with strong asset/liability management, including reducing higher cost deposits and managing down borrowing levels.

Fee Income of $48.3 million was only 3% lower than 2020, despite $7.3 million of lower Gain on Sale of Loans due to changes in the market. Deposit Fees grew by 13% from 2020, helping to mitigate the impact from the lower gains.

Total Operating Revenues of $214 million grew by almost 5% in 2021.

Operating Expenses of $155.7 million increased by 4.5% due to our increased investment in strategic initiatives to position us for future success and higher salaries due to hiring new talent and merit increases.

Loan Loss Provisions were reversed by $5.5 million in 2021 versus the $49.4 million increase in 2020. Our loan portfolios performed well throughout the pandemic resulting in a lower Allowance for Loan Losses of 1.74% at year-end. Non-performing Assets as a percentage of total assets are performing well at 0.19% versus 0.28% at the end of 2020.

Capital Gains of $39.4 million in 2021 were strong and only $2.4 million less than the prior year due to lower unrealized gains on marketable equity securities. Realized gains were $14.7 million higher in 2021.

Total Assets grew by over 6% to $7.4 billion while we increased deposits by almost 7%.

Capital increased by almost $81 million to $927.1 million, representing an extremely well-capitalized Capital to Assets Ratio of 12.5%.

Hardworking Teammates Devoted to Advancing Our Vision

I’m extremely proud of the way Liberty teammates rallied around our One Bank approach to produce record earnings in 2021. They remained strongly focused on positioning the bank for long-term profitable growth while rising up to help our customers and communities so we can grow a brighter future together.

Remarkably, the Liberty Team achieved all of this and so much more in 2021 while advancing our vision to be the community bank of the future.

Paul S. Young

Paul S. Young Chief Financial Officer 

2021 Highlights

Record Earnings with Net Income of

$81.2 million

Pre-Provision Net Revenue (PPNR) of

$58.3 million

Delivered a record performance in 2021, growing to over

$7.4 billion
in assets

Asset Growth was

6.12%,

totaling over $400 million

Deposit Growth was

6.82%

Delivered over $381 million in new Commercial Lending loans, bringing the portfolio to nearly $541 million.

Experienced a record-breaking year in Small Business lending, closing 533 loans through our Small Business Loan Center, totaling $70.1 million.

Provided $265.9 million in Resort Finance advances, which included $24.1 million in new loans, bringing the portfolio to nearly $400 million.

More than $556 million in new Commercial Real Estate loans, bringing the portfolio to over $1.65 billion.

Liberty Bank Investment Services financial advisors gathered a record level of assets in 2021, totaling nearly $225.6 million.

Provided $471 million in home mortgages and $135 million in home equity, totaling $606 million in originations.  

2021 was a record-breaking year for Liberty Bank Investment Services, generating over $7 million in revenue, which equated to an increase of 25% over 2020.

New Consumer Checking Accounts – 17,076

New Business Checking Accounts – 4,699

13,406 new households, bringing total customers to 173,335 households across business and personal banking. 

Total deposits was over $5.9 billion at the end of 2021 with a growth of nearly 7% from 2020.

20% of mortgage originations were through our Good Neighbor products, designed to make home ownership more affordable.

Massachusetts Loan Production Office (LPO): New Commercial Loans of $99.5 million

Hartford LPO loan total: New Commercial Loans of nearly $153 million

New Haven LPO loan total: New Commercial Loans of nearly $129 million

Community Highlights and Accolades

Achieved an overall Outstanding Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) Rating from both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Connecticut Department of Banking.

Closed nearly $6 million in new CRA investments in 2021. The majority went to support minority-owned small businesses and/or nonprofits. In addition, the Bank originated $123 million in Community Development loans.

Voted a Top Workplace for a 10th straight year, including special recognition for the benefits we provide our teammates.

Through our Foundation, we invested a record $935,000 in community partnerships in the markets we serve.

Rolled out our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

Invested over $1.5 million in community partnerships last year and had a record breaking Liberty Bank-Rotary Club Thanksgiving Drive, raising over $1.4 million.

Launched our new branding tagline: Be Community Kind.

Customer Stories

Growing a Brighter
Future Together

At Liberty Bank, growing a brighter future with our customers are more than just words.

It means maintaining an unwavering commitment to our personal, business and commercial banking customers across our footprint to help them achieve financial success.

It means bankers working side-by-side with our customers, building a holistic relationship so we can effectively meet their personal and business banking needs. It also means providing the kind of extraordinary customer experiences only community banks like ours knows how to do while being able to tailor solutions to complex banking needs that mega banks can.

Liberty Bank strikes that important balance, making us the right choice for businesses and consumers who are either seeking a new banking partner or simply wish to deepen their existing relationship with us.

There are also many other convenient ways to bank with us outside of one-on-one interactions. This consists of free, 24-hour ATM and online banking access; free monthly e-statements; debit cards which give customers the freedom to spend and access their cash any time; and a mobile banking app to send money, deposit checks, freeze and unfreeze debit cards, and set up alerts to monitor balances and transactions. We offer an array of financial literacy opportunities, including credit building workshops and first-time homebuyer seminars. In addition, we have our Academy for Small Business, which supports new entrepreneurs.

In the following pages, we feature real life stories of commercial, business and personal banking customers who have benefited from their close working relationships with our industry leading team of bankers. So for our customers we highlighted in this annual report and the many more who selected Liberty as their banking partner, we can genuinely say we are growing a brighter future together.

Explore our
customer stories

Liberty Bank Board of Directors

Mark R. Gingras, Chairman - G&G Distributors, Inc.

Doug Anderson - Retired, Savings Bank of Manchester

William T. Christopher - Retired, Lawrence Memorial Hospital

Jean M. D’Aquila - D’Aquila Law Offices

David Director - Connecticut Lighting Centers, Inc.

David W. Glidden - Liberty Bank

Steve J. Gorss - Owner/Operator Incredible Motels, Inc, West Hartford, CT

Chandler J. Howard - Retired, Liberty Bank

Wilfredo Nieves - Retired, Capital Community College

Elsa Núñez - Eastern Connecticut State University

Kolawole Olofinboba - Fairview Capital Partners

Timothy Ryan - Economic Development Director, Wallingford, CT

Liberty Bank Executive Management Team

David W. Glidden - President and Chief Executive Officer

Troy Damboise - Executive Vice President, Chief Operational Risk Officer

Dan Flynn - Executive Vice President, Chief Credit Risk Officer

Audra Hamel - Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer

Dan Matos - Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Counsel

Jeremy Miller - Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Lending Officer

David Mitchell - Executive Vice President, Digital Bank GM & Chief Digital Officer

Robert Parry - Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer

Minnie Saleh - Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Retail Banking Officer

Hope Utterbeck - Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer

Paul S. Young - Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer