Good morning everyone and welcome to the National Bank Holdings Corporation 2019 Fourth Quarter Earnings Call. My name is Amy, and I will be your conference operator for today.
At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. We will conduct a question-and-answer session following the prepared remarks. As a reminder, this conference is being recorded for replay purposes.
I would like to remind you that this conference call will contain forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements regarding the company's strategy, loans, deposits, capital, net interest income, non-interest income, margins, allowance, taxes and non-interest expense. Actual results could differ materially from those discussed today. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks, uncertainties and other factors, which are disclosed in more detail in the company's most recent filings with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. These statements speak only as of the date of this call and National Bank Holdings Corporation undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements.
It is now my pleasure to turn the call over and introduce National Bank Holdings Corporation's Chairman, President and CEO, Mr. Tim Laney.
G. Timothy Laney
Thank you, Amy.
Good morning and thank you for joining National Bank Holdings Fourth Quarter and Full-Year 2019 Earnings Call. I have with me, our Chief Financial Officer, Aldis Birkans, and Rick Newfield, our Chief Risk Management Officer. We're pleased to report record full-year earnings of $2.55 per share. We benefit from having strong teams operating in high performing US markets. Our relationship banking model continues to yield solid loan, deposit and fee income growth, and Aldis will be covering these results in greater detail in just a moment.
We believe we're well positioned in 2020 to create meaningful value for our shareholders and other stakeholders. Our focus is on delivering solid growth, maintaining a low risk profile and continuing our track record of improving our productivity. Aldis?
Thank you, Tim, and good morning.
2019 was a very strong year for us on many fronts. Before I move on to the fourth quarter review and the 2020 guidance, I would like to recap our financial accomplishments for full-year 2019. As Tim mentioned, we finished the year with a record annual earnings of $2.55 per diluted share. That is 18.1% earnings growth over the prior year's adjusted EPS. We grew our quarterly average earning assets by 5.5% over the fourth quarter 2018. For the second year in a row, we delivered $1.2 billion in new loan originations. We grew our average non-interest bearing deposit balances 6.7% over the prior year's fourth quarter and improved our non-interest bearing deposit mix to 25% of total deposits.
We increased our non-interest income $12 million over the prior year, and we did that while improving our efficiency ratio to 61.15%. As we look towards 2020, the guidance I will provide is based on an assumption that the current economic conditions will persist throughout this year and we will continue to see our local market activity outperform the national averages. We also
G. Timothy Laney
Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer
Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer
Richard U. Newfield
Chief Risk Management Officer
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