To Our Valued Clients,
After only eight years of operating history, we are pleased to report the bank officially surpassed the billion dollar threshold. As of December 31, 2012, Sovereign reported total assets of $1.06 billion, a 26% increase since the year ending December 31, 2011.
It is important to note that of the 7,181 FDIC-insured commercial banks and savings institutions in the United States, only 659 (roughly 9%) report total assets exceeding $1 billion. With Sovereign Bank now in this elite category, we have the economies of scale to successfully manage the increasing capital requirements soon to be instituted by International Accounting Standards and the new regulatory burdens imposed by the Dodd-Frank financial overhaul and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Another notable achievement in 2012 includes the opening of Sovereign’s first branch in Houston, Texas. Located in the Galleria area, this branch complements our Houston Corporate offices established in 2011 and provides a stunning physical location to serve the needs of our growing Houston clientele. Under the leadership of Houston CEO Gary Olander, the bank’s loan portfolio in the region experienced robust growth during fiscal year 2012. While this organic strategy has required a significant investment, continued successful growth will ultimately yield benefits for both shareholders and clients of Sovereign Bank.
Looking forward, while the banking industry faces challenges, we are confident Sovereign will continue to outperform the market. By combining our longstanding role as a market leader in real estate and oil and gas lending with the bank’s strong success in broadening our small business and middle market loan portfolio through recognition as a Preferred Lender for the SBA, Sovereign has the tools to achieve this goal. Moreover, the bank has reengineered the banksov.com website and invested in next-generation technology for 2013. These initiatives represent the continued evolution of Sovereign into a larger and more advanced financial institution, providing the latest and best technological tools for our valued customers to meet their banking needs while still maintaining the personal relationship that sets Sovereign apart from our competition.
In closing, we are extraordinarily proud of our position as a top 10% US bank (ranked by total assets), yet Sovereign Bank remains grounded in the basics. We strive each day to provide the best relationship banking in Texas. It is who we are and who we will continue to be. Much of this identity is founded by the long-standing support of our shareholders and loyal clients. Your business relationship and your referrals remain integral to our success. Thank you for being part of Sovereign Bank. We look forward to continuing to serve you throughout 2013 and in the years to come.
Thomas J. Mastor
Chairman & CEO