February 17, 2014
Year 2013 was truly a monumental year for UniBank. First of all, UniBank finally gained managerial autonomy, having successfully completed its “De Novo Bank” status by maintaining good standing with regulatory agencies for the past seven years since its inception in 2006. Furthermore, the Bank relocated its headquarters to a beautifully constructed three-story building on Highway 99 in Lynnwood and attainted record-setting earnings of $2.99 million for the year. The Bank’s pretax return on average assets was 2.20%, significantly superior to that of its peer group, placing the Bank in the 96th percentile amongst the 700 peer group banks. Total assets increased by 16% to $218 million. As this outstanding performance is deemed largely attributable to the unwavering support of shareholders, the Board of Directors has gratefully resolved to pay a cash dividend this year. U&I Financial Corp. shareholders of record on February 14th will receive a cash dividend of 25 cents per share on February 28th. Presuming shares were purchased at $5.00 per share, this dividend payout will yield a 5.00% annual return on investment.
For the past four consecutive years, UniBank has paid dividends from its profits. Due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, many shareholders strongly preferred cash dividends to stock dividends, and the Bank complied by issuing either cash dividends or a combination of cash and stock dividends on 90% of its net income for the fiscal years 2010 and 2011. With the signs of economic recovery quickly accelerating, a stock dividend instead of a cash dividend was paid after the fiscal year 2012, as it was deemed more appropriate. Two of the benefits of stock dividends are that the Bank can accumulate capital to sustain further growth and that shareholders don’t need pay tax on the dividends received until they are sold at a later time. However, as some shareholders strongly voiced their preference for cash dividends, a cash dividend was promised and will be issued for the fiscal year 2013.
One crucial fact to bear in mind is the importance of maintaining adequate capital ratios per regulatory capital requirements. If cash dividends are continued to be paid, UniBank will not be able to sustain its current growth due to inadequate capital reserves. However, if dividends are distributed in stock, earnings will be retained and thus capital will increase in proportion to earnings. Consequently, paying stock dividends rather than cash dividends is deemed more beneficial since it ensures steady growth and promotes long-term success of UniBank. The book value of U&I stock was $6.00 per share at 2013 year-end. The Board of Directors is committed to maximizing shareholder value by pursuing various growth strategies that are most suitable for the Bank. The Board will always respect and incorporate the opinions of shareholders in its decision making process, while striving to be well-deserving of the complete confidence of shareholders.
We would like to humbly ask all shareholders to take pride as owners of UniBank and to support the Bank for its continued success. Please actively refer friends and family to the 5-star rated UniBank, where outstanding customer service and satisfaction are always assured.
John Chang, Chairman of the Board
Daniel Lee, President & CEO
U & I Financial shares are traded on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board (OTCBB) with the ticker symbol “UNIF.”
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