Independent Bank Corp (Mass) (NASDAQ:INDB) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 17, 2020 • 10:00 am ET


Independent Bank Corp (Mass) (NASDAQ:INDB) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Christopher Oddleifson

dividend last year. So all in all, our performance in 2018 was a very good one.

As we turn the calendar page over 2020, we do face several headwinds. Like others in the industry we head into the new year with lower interest margins that puts pressure on revenue levels. In addition, having crossed the $10 billion asset threshold, we will begin to incur the impact of the Durbin Amendment related to the interchange fees commencing in the second half of 2020. Also, some of our tax credits related to community lending are expiring this year, which will result in an increase to our effective tax rate.

Notwithstanding these weights on earnings and related growth rates, we expect to post solid returns. Mark will give you more color on this in a moment. Beyond the numbers, the Rockland Trust franchise continued to progress over the past year in many ways. First and foremost, our acquisition and successful deleveraging and assimilation of Blue Hills Bank has significantly advanced our strategic path. It has bolted us into the number one deposit share position in the state of any Massachusetts-based bank and meaningfully expanded our presence in the coveted Greater Boston market. It has also brought us a powerful mortgage origination platform and an excellent mortgage team. And of course, we added great talent in commercial banking, retail banking and other areas.

Other progress points include our continued expansion in the Worcester market, good growth in our new downtown Boston branch, our new household formation above the population growth rate in the state, new products and features such as a credit card offering, premier banking products, streamlined online account opening, expanded use of video tellers and multiple mobile banking enhancements.

We further strengthened our enterprise risk management and cybersecurity programs and we continue to receive recognitions of excellence by reputable publications such as J.D. Power, Forbes, Global Finance and the Boston Globe. And we position ourselves for future success while preserving our culture by strengthening our executive leadership ranks by internal promotions of highly talented and qualified individuals such as Rob and Mark who join me today.

Heading into the new year, our priority initiatives include continuing to build out our Worcester presence, the new branches, ATMs and marketing campaigns, continuing to satisfy the Blue Hills customer base with our more extensive product offerings; capitalizing on investment management opportunities especially in recently acquired markets such as [Indecipherable] and Nantucket; augmenting customer online access to offerings such as credit card, home equity and investment management; further streamlining our underwriting processes; and keeping pace of the growing customer preferences for mobile banking.

So it's another busy year in store for us. With the added scale and operating leverage provided by the Blue Hills acquisitions, we'll be making incremental investments in our infrastructure, especially risk management, technology and analytics to ensure we're fully equipped to pursue the concrete growth opportunities we envision arising from our increased scale. While these investments will add to our expense base,