Dear Fellow Shareholder:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, management team and staff of Bank of Ruston, we are proud to provide the 2016 Annual Report. This year was another year of record earnings and strong asset and deposit growth for Century Next Financial Corporation and its subsidiary Bank of Ruston.
For the year ended December 31, 2016, net income increased over 53% and assets grew over 13% from the prior year ended December 31, 2015. Loans were the largest contributor to this growth with an increase of over 16% year over year. Deposits grew over 17% as we continued to increase our customer base in Lincoln and Ouachita Parishes and the surrounding areas. As always, our primary focus is asset quality, which is the cornerstone of success for any prudent financial institution.
Bank of Ruston, our subsidiary bank, is celebrating 111 years of serving the Ruston Community and Lincoln Parish. In addition, we are very excited to now be in our newest banking center located in Monroe, Louisiana. The growth prospects are enormous. From its beginning as Ruston Building and Loan meeting primarily the mortgage needs of the community, Bank of Ruston has gradually transformed into a full-service banking institution with products and services to meet the needs of both retail and commercial customers. This year, we focused our efforts on business accounts which grew over 50% year over year. Of course, our Kasasa high-interest deposit products continued to outperform in growth providing an excellent alternative to traditional deposit products at a time when depositors continue to struggle to find a place to earn a reasonable rate in a low interest rate environment.
The financial success of the company can be attributed to our incredible team of employees who are driven to do the right things on a daily basis for our clients, the bank, and each other. Our focus market areas continue to thrive economically, and we continue to see improvement in the business environment.
As we move into 2017, we are excited about our growth opportunities. As always, we continue to explore new technologies to enhance the customer experience making banking more convenient than ever. We are excited about the potential for growth of the bank, increased return for the shareholders, and the opportunity to continue to serve our market area.
We are proud of you, our shareholders, our loyal customers, and our wonderful region and look forward to an exciting year ahead.
William D. Hogan
President and Chief Executive Officer