Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now

The stock market should seem attractive to you, because it’s one of the best ways to build wealth and financial security for yourself over the long run. Averaging about 10% annually over long periods, it can turn a single $10,000 investment into almost $175,000 in 30 years. (So imagine what can happen if you invest more over time!) You have to be smart about it, though. Ideally, you’ll keep learning how to invest in stocks more profitably for the rest of your investing life.

Learning how to invest in stocks effectively isn’t hard, but many people never take the time to do it. Thus, they commit many classic blunders. Below are a few things that can cause you to get poor results when investing. Avoid these pitfalls and you’ll likely boost your portfolio’s performance.

Emotions
The classic maxim offered to those who want to learn how to invest in stocks is “Buy low, sell high.” Yet despite that, many people do the opposite. They buy into stocks without a grasp of whether the stock is undervalued or overvalued. And if it suddenly heads south, they sell in a panic, locking in a loss instead of the hoped-for gain. Succumbing to fear and greed is a big no-no when investing. Choose stocks carefully after studying them, and aim to hang on for the long haul, as long as the underlying companies remain healthy, growing, and with sustainable competitive advantages. Expect ups and downs for your stocks and the overall market, and don’t freak out when they occur.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Washington Federal Inc (WAFD)

Washington Federal, Inc., incorporated on November 15, 1994, is a bank holding company, which conducts its operations through a federally-insured savings association subsidiary, Washington Federal (Bank). The Bank is a federal savings association. The business of the Bank consists of attracting deposits from the general public and investing these funds in loans of various types, including first lien mortgages on single-family dwellings, construction loans, land acquisition and development loans, loans on multi-family and other income producing properties, home equity loans and business loans. It also invests in United States government and agency obligations and other investments permitted by applicable laws and regulations. As of September 30, 2013, Washington Federal had 182 full service branches located in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. Through its subsidiaries, the Company is also engaged in real estate investment and insurance brokerage activities. The principal sources of funds for the Company’s activities are retained earnings, loan repayments (including prepayments), net deposit inflows, repayments and sales of investments and borrowings. Washington Federal’s principal sources of revenue are interest on loans and interest and dividends on investments. Its principal expenses are interest paid on deposits, credit costs, general and administrative expenses, interest on borrowings and income taxes. On October 31, 2012, South Valley Bancorp, Inc. merged with and into the Company, followed by the merger of South Valley’s wholly owned subsidiary, South Valley Bank & Trust, into the Bank.

Lending Activities

As of September 30, 2013, the Company’s net portfolio of loans totaled $7.5 billion representing approximately 58% of its total assets. The Company concentrates its lending activities on the origination of 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage loans, which are neither insured nor gu aranteed by agencies of the United States government. Washin! gton Federal’s lending activity is concentrated on the origination of loans secured by real estate, including long-term fixed-rate mortgage loans, adjustable-rate construction loans, adjustable-rate land development loans, fixed-rate multi-family loans and business loans.

The Company’s lending activity is the origination of real estate mortgage loans to purchase or refinance single-family residences. The Company also originates a range of construction and land development loans, along with multi-family residential and commercial loans. As of September 30, 2013, single-family residential loans totaled $5.4 billion, or 67.2% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; construction- speculative loans totaled$131 million, or 1.6% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; construction – custom loans totaled $303 million, or 3.8% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; land acquisition and development loans totaled $82 million, or 1.0% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; la nd – consumer lot loans totaled $125 million, or 1.6% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; multi-family loans totaled $836 million, or 10.5% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; commercial real estate loans totaled $625 million, or 7.8% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; commercial and industrial loans totaled $326 million, or 4.1% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio; home equity line of credit (HELOC) loans totaled $134 million, or 1.7% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio and consumer loans totaled $55 million, or 0.7% of the Company’s gross loan portfolio.

The Company originates 30 year fixed-rate loans secured by single-family residences. The Company originates construction loans to finance construction of single-family and multi-family residences, as well as commercial properties. Loans made to individuals for construction of their home generally are 30 year fixed rate loans. Multi-family residential (five or more dwelling units) loans are secure d by multi-family rental properties, such as apartment build! ings.

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The Company makes various types of business loans to customers in its market area for working capital, acquiring real estate, equipment or other business purposes, such as acquisitions. The terms of these loans range from less than one year to a maximum of 10 years. Consumer loans are home improvement loans made through third party originators that bear interest at rates of 10% and higher.

Investment Activities

As a federal association, the Bank is obligated to maintain adequate liquidity and does so by holding cash and cash equivalents and by investing in securities. These investments include, among other things, certain certificates of deposit, repurchase agreements, bankers’ acceptances, loans to financial institutions whose deposits are federally-insured, federal funds, United States government and agency obligations and mortgage-backed securities.

Sources of Funds

Deposits are the source of the Company’s funds for use in lending and other general business purposes. In addition to deposits, Washington Federal derives funds from loan repayments, advances from the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) and other borrowings and from investment repayments and sales. The Company’s deposits are obtained from residents of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico and Texas. The Company obtains advances from the FHLB upon the security of the FHLB capital stock it owns and certain of its loans, provided certain standards related to credit worthiness have been met. The Company also uses reverse repurchase agreements as a form of borrowing. Under reverse repurchase agreements, the Company sells an investment security to a dealer for a period of time and agrees to buy back that security at the end of the period and pay the dealer a stated interest rate for the use of the dealer’s funds. The Company also offers two forms of repurchase agreements to its customers. One form has an interest rate, which floats like that of a money market d! eposit ac! count. The other form has a fixed rate and is offered in a minimum denomination of $100,000. Both forms are fully collateralized by securities. As of September 30, 2013, the Company had $46.1 million of such agreements outstanding.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Washington Federal (NASDAQ: WAFD  ) is keeping its dividend level even as it effects a corporate transformation by the end of next month. The company has declared a quarterly distribution of $0.09 per share, to be paid on July 19 to shareholders of record as of July 5. That amount matches the firm’s previous distribution, which was paid in April. Prior to that, it handed out a penny less at $0.08 per share.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of financial holding company Washington Federal (NASDAQ: WAFD  ) climbed as high as 10% today after its quarterly results topped Wall Street expectations. 

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: First Bancorp (FBP)

First Bancorp is a bank holding company. The Company is a service provider of financial services and products with operations in Puerto Rico, the United States and the United States and British Virgin Islands. The Company has six segments: Consumer (Retail) Banking; Commercial and Corporate Banking; Mortgage Banking; Treasury and Investments; United States Operations, and Virgin Islands Operations. The Company specializes in commercial banking, residential mortgage loan originations, finance leases, personal loans, small loans, auto loans, insurance agency and broker-dealer activities. As of December 31, 2011, it controlled two wholly owned subsidiaries: FirstBank and FirstBank Insurance Agency, Inc. (FirstBank Insurance Agency). FirstBank is a Puerto Rico-chartered commercial bank and FirstBank Insurance Agency is a Puerto Rico-chartered insurance agency. On February 16, 2011, FirstBank sold an asset portfolio consisting of performing and non-performing construction, comm ercial mortgage and C&I loans. The Company’s total investment securities portfolio as of December 31, 2011 amounted to $2 billion. As of December 31, 2011, the Company had a total deposit of $9.9 billion. Effective May 31, 2011, the Company purchased FirstBank-branded consumer credit card portfolio from FIA Card Services, N.A. and an affiliate.

Consumer (Retail) Banking

The Consumer (Retail) Banking segment consists of the Company’s consumer lending and deposit-taking activities conducted mainly through FirstBank’s branch network and loan centers in Puerto Rico. Loans to consumers include auto, boat and personal loans and lines of credit. Deposit products include interest bearing and non-interest bearing checking and savings accounts, Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA) and retail certificates of deposit. Retail deposits gathered through each branch of FirstBank’s retail network serve as one of the funding sources for the lending and inves tment activities. Credit card accounts are issued under Firs! tBank’s name through an alliance with a financial institution, which bears the credit risk.

Commercial and Corporate Banking

The Commercial and Corporate Banking segment consists of the Company’s lending and other services across a spectrum of industries ranging from small businesses to large corporate clients. FirstBank has developed expertise in industries, including healthcare, tourism, financial institutions, food and beverage, income-producing real estate and the public sector. The Commercial and Corporate Banking segment offers commercial loans, including commercial real estate and construction loans, and other products, such as cash management and business management services. A substantial portion of this portfolio is secured by the underlying value of the real estate collateral and the personal guarantees of the borrowers. The segment also includes the Company’s broker-dealer activities, which are primarily concentrated in bonds und erwriting and financial advisory services provided to government entities in Puerto Rico.

Mortgage Banking

The Mortgage Banking segment conducts its operations mainly through FirstBank and its mortgage origination subsidiary, First Mortgage. These operations consist of the origination, sale and servicing of a variety of residential mortgage loan products. Originations are sourced through different channels, such as FirstBank branches, mortgage bankers and in association with new project developers. First Mortgage focuses on originating residential real estate loans, some of which conform to Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Veterans Administration (VA) and Rural Development (RD) standards. The Mortgage Banking segment also acquires and sells mortgages in the secondary markets. Most of the Company’s residential mortgage loan portfolio consists of fixed-rate, fully amortizing, full documentation loans.

Treasury and Investments

The Treasury and Investments segment is responsib! le for th! e Corporation’s treasury and investment management functions. The treasury function, which includes funding and liquidity management, sells funds to the Commercial and Corporate Banking segment, the Mortgage Banking segment, and the Consumer (Retail) Banking segment to finance their respective lending activities and purchases funds gathered by those segments and from the United States Operations segment. Funds not gathered by the different business units are obtained by the Treasury Division through wholesale channels, such as brokered deposits, advances from the FHLB and, repurchase agreements with investment securities, among others.

United States Operations

The United States Operations segment consists of all banking activities conducted by FirstBank in the United States mainland. FirstBank provides a range of banking services to individual and corporate customers primarily in southern Florida through its ten branches. The United States Opera tions segment offers an array of both retail and commercial banking products and services. Consumer banking products include checking, savings and money market accounts, retail certificates of deposit (CDs), Internet banking services, residential mortgages, home equity loans and lines of credit, automobile loans and credit cards through an alliance with a nationally recognized financial institution, which bears the credit risk. Deposits gathered through FirstBank’s branches in the United States also serve as a funding sources for lending and investment activities in Puerto Rico. The commercial banking services include checking, savings and money market accounts, CDs, Internet banking services, cash management services, remote data capture and automated clearing house (ACH), transactions. Loan products include the traditional commercial and industrial and commercial real estate products, such as lines of credit, term loans and construction loans.

Virgin Island s Operations

The Virgin Islands Operations seg! ment cons! ists of all banking activities conducted by FirstBank in the United States and British Virgin Islands, including retail and commercial banking services, with a total of fourteen branches serving the United States Virgin Islands of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John, and the British Virgin Islands of Tortola and Virgin Gorda. The Virgin Islands Operations segment is driven by its consumer, commercial lending and deposit-taking activities.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Laura Brodbeck]

    Monday

    Earnings Releases Expected: UGI Corporation (NYSE: UGI), Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM), First Bancorp. (NYSE: FBP) Economic Releases Expected:  Indian services PMI, Spanish services PMI, Italian services PMI, German services PMI, eurozone services PMI, British services PMI, German CPI, US ISM non-manufacturing PMI

    Tuesday

  • [By Paul Ausick]

    First Bancorp (NYSE: FBP) is another Puerto Rican bank that gets the nod. The bank’s asset divestitures are behind it and, like M&T, it is fundamentally sound. Sterne Agee’s price target on the stock is $11.00, and the stock closed on Friday at $5.81 in a 52-week range of $4.27 to $8.70. The potential upside for this small cap bank is nearly 90%. The bank’s forward multiple according to the analysts is 10.8 and the consensus forward P/E from Thomson Reuters is 11.17. Sterne Agee’s EPS estimate for 2014 is $0.52.

  • [By CRWE]

    First BanCorp (NYSE:FBP), the bank holding company for FirstBank Puerto Rico, expects to report its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2012, after the market closes on Wednesday, October 31, 2012.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Astoria Financial Corp (AF)

Astoria Financial Corporation, incorporated on June, 14, 1993, is the unitary savings and loan association holding company of Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association (Astoria Federal). The Company’s principal business is the operation of its wholly owned subsidiary, Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal’s primary business is attracting retail deposits from the general public and investing those deposits, together with funds generated from operations, principal repayments on loans and securities and borrowings, primarily in one- to four-family mortgage loans, multi-family mortgage loans, commercial real estate loans and mortgage-backed securities. Astoria Federal also invests in consumer and other loans, the United States Government, government agency and government-sponsored enterprise (GSE), securities and other investments.

Lending Activities

The Company’s loan portfolio consists primarily of mortgage loans. As of December 31, 2012, 74% o f its total loan portfolio was secured by residential properties and 24% was secured by multi-family properties and commercial real estate. The remainder of the loan portfolio consists of a variety of consumer and other loans, including commercial and industrial loans originated in 2012 through its business banking initiatives. As of December 31, 2012, its net loan portfolio totaled $13.08 billion, or 79% of total assets. The Company originates mortgage loans either directly through its banking and loan production offices in New York or indirectly through brokers and its third party loan origination program. It also originates mortgage loans for sale. The Company’s primary lending focus is on the origination and purchase of first mortgage loans secured by one- to four-family properties that serve as the primary residence of the owner.

The Company also originates multi-family and commercial real estate loans. As of December 31, 2012, multi-family mortgage loan s totaled $2.41 billion, or 18% of its total loan portfolio,! and commercial real estate loans totaled $773.9 million, or 6% of its total loan portfolio. At December 31, 2012, $264.1 million, or 2%, of the Company’s total loan portfolio consisted of consumer and other loans which were primarily home equity lines of credit. The Company also offers overdraft protection, lines of credit, commercial loans and passbook loans. Consumer and other loans, with the exception of home equity and commercial lines of credit, are offered primarily on a fixed rate, short-term basis.

Investment Activities

At December 31, 2012, the Company’s securities portfolio totaled $2.04 billion, or 12%, of total assets. The Company does not use derivatives for trading purposes. Its securities portfolio consists primarily of mortgage-backed securities. At December 31, 2012, its mortgage-backed securities totaled $1.94 billion, or 95%, of total securities, of which $1.92 billion, or 94%, of total securities, were real estate mortgage investment conduits (REMIC) and collateralized mortgage obligation (CMO) securities, substantially all of which had fixed rates. Of the REMIC and CMO securities portfolio, $2.35 billion, or 98.7%, are guaranteed by Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) or Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae) as issuer. At December 31, 2012, its securities available-for-sale totaled $336.3 million and its securities held-to-maturity totaled $1.7 billion. At December 31, 2012, it had no investments in repurchase agreements and federal funds sold.

Sources of Funds

The Company’s primary source of funds is the cash flow provided by its investing activities, including principal and interest payments on loans and securities. Its other sources of funds are provided by operating activities and financing activities, including deposits and borrowings. The Company offers a variety of deposit a ccounts with a range of interest rates and terms. It offers ! passbook ! and statement savings accounts, money market accounts, negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) and demand deposit accounts, liquid certificates of deposit (Liquid CDs), and certificates of deposit, which include all time deposits other than Liquid CDs. Liquid CDs have maturities of three months, require the maintenance of a minimum balance and allow depositors the ability to make periodic deposits to and withdrawals from their account. At December 31, 2012, its deposits totaled $10.44 billion. Of the total deposit balance, $1.28 billion, or 12%, represented individual retirement accounts during the year ended December 31, 2012. It held no brokered deposits at December 31, 2012. Core deposits represented 53.3% of total deposits at December 31, 2011. Reverse repurchase agreements are accounted for as borrowings and are secured by the securities sold under the agreements. At December 31, 2012, borrowings totaled $4.37 billion. It also obtains advances from the Federal Home Loan Ba nk of New York (FHLB-NY).

Subsidiary Activities

In addition to Astoria Federal, the Company has two other subsidiaries, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. and Astoria Capital Trust I. AF Insurance Agency, Inc. is a life insurance agency. Through contractual agreements with various third parties, AF Insurance Agency, Inc. makes insurance products available primarily to the customers of Astoria Federal. Astoria Federal’s wholly owned subsidiaries include AF Agency, Inc., Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association Revocable Grantor Trust, Astoria Federal Mortgage Corp. (AF Mortgage), Fidata Service Corp. (Fidata), Marcus I Inc. and Suffco Service Corporation (Suffco). AF Agency, Inc. makes various annuity products available to the customers of Astoria Federal through an unaffiliated third party vendor. AF Mortgage is an operating subsidiary through which Astoria Federal engages in lending activities outside the State of New York through its third party loan origination program. Fidata mortgage loans totaled $5.09 bi! llion at ! December 31, 2012. Suffco serves as document custodian for the loans of Astoria Federal and Fidata and certain loans being serviced for Fannie Mae and other investors.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Namitha Jagadeesh]

    International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (IAG) and Air France-KLM (AF) Group rose with as a gauge of travel stocks as oil prices fell after Iran’s accord. PSA Peugeot Citroen gained 3.7 percent after people familiar with the matter said its chief executive officer plans to step down next year. Fresenius Medical Care AG surged the most in five years after U.S. regulators scrapped a plan to cut Medicare payments next year.

  • [By Jonathan Morgan]

    Air France-KLM Group (AF), Europe’s second-biggest airline by sales, retreated 2.8 percent. Mediaset SpA climbed 2.8 percent after Credit Suisse Group AG raised its price target on the Italian broadcaster. Serco Group Plc added 2.7 percent after predicting that its revenue growth in the first half will exceed its previous estimates.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Eurobank Ergasias SA (EUROB)

Eurobank Ergasias SA, formerly EFG Eurobank Ergasias SA, is a banking and financial services group located in Greece. It is organized into five segments: Retail, incorporating customer current accounts, savings, deposits and investment savings products, credit and debit cards, consumer loans, small business banking and mortgages; Corporate, incorporating direct debit facilities, current accounts, deposits, overdrafts, loan and other credit facilities, foreign currency and derivative products to corporate entities; Wealth Management, incorporating private banking services, including total wealth management, to medium and high net worth individuals, insurance, mutual fund and investment savings products, and institutional asset management; Global and Capital Markets, incorporating investment banking services including corporate finance, merger and acquisition and equity brokerage, as well as International. On December 27, 2013, it merged by absorption of the New TT Hellenic Pos tbank SA. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Corinne Gretler]

    National Bank of Greece surged 24 percent and Eurobank Ergasias SA (EUROB) more than doubled. The lenders’ planned merger has been postponed and not canceled, Bank of Greece Governor George Provopoulos said, after statements on April 8 that they will be recapitalized separately.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Santander Mexico Financial Group SAB de CV (BSMX)

Santander Mexico Financial Group SAB de CV, formerly Grupo Financiero Santander SAB de CV, is a Mexico-based financial institution. The Company is primarily engaged, through its subsidiaries, in the provision of multiple banking services, securities brokerage, financial advice services, as well as other related investment activities. The Company offers its services to both, individual and corporate clients. The Company owns such principal subsidiaries as Banco Santander (Mexico) SA, Casa de Bolsa Santander SA de CV and Zurich Santander Seguros Mexico S.A. In December, 2013, the Company concluded the sale of Gestion Santander SA de CV’s shares, as a result of the agreement reached with its parent company, Banco Santander SA. Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Burrows]

    The current economic and political environment makes it hard to see what possible catalyst could pull EBR stock out of negative territory any time soon. EBR’s payouts have been erratic, so the stock’s dividend yield is basically a roll of the dice. Worst of all, EBB still has no profits. For dividend stocks, that’s another dealbreaker.

    Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico (BSMX)

    Market Cap: $14.9 billion
    Dividend Yield: 11.4%
    YTD Price Performance: -20%

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    ING’s (NYSE: ING  ) Latin American operations will soon be one division lighter. The company announced it reached an agreement to sell its mortgage business in Mexico to Grupo Financiero Santander Mexico (NYSE: BSMX  ) , the local presence of Spanish financial group Banco Santander (NYSE: SAN  ) . The price was 643 million pesos ($51 million), according to Mexico City newspaper La Cronica de Hoy.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Bank Of Montreal (BMO)

Bank of Montreal, together with its subsidiaries, provides a range of retail banking, wealth management, and investment banking products and solutions in North America and internationally. It offers personal banking products and services to consumers and small businesses, including deposit and investment services, mortgages, consumer credit, small business lending, and other banking services; and commercial banking products and services to small business, medium-sized enterprise, and mid-market banking clients comprising lending, deposits, treasury management, and risk management services. The company also offers cards and payments services; investment and wealth advisory services; self-directed investing services; private banking services to high net worth and ultra-high net worth clients; investment fund solutions across a range of channels; pension plans; investment management services; and creditor insurance, and life insurance and annuity products and services. In add ition, it provides capital markets products and services, including equity and debt underwriting, corporate lending and project financing, mergers and acquisitions, restructurings and recapitalizations, balance sheet management, liquidity management, merchant banking, securitization, foreign exchange, derivatives, debt and equity research, and institutional sales and trading to corporate, institutional, and government clients. As of October 31, 2010, Bank of Montreal operated and maintained approximately 1,230 bank branches in Canada and the United States. The company was founded in 1817 and is headquartered in Toronto, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ian Wyatt]

    Established in 1817, Bank of Montreal (BMO) was Canada’s first bank. Nearly two centuries later, the bank is not only still standing—it’s thriving.

  • [By Will Ashworth]

    Bank of Montreal (BMO) and National Bank (NTIOF) have already delivered their numbers, and the rest are expected to come tomorrow and Friday. The major Canadian bank stocks are expected to grow earnings between 5% and 7% over last year’s fourth quarter, which is excellent.

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD  ) will release its quarterly report on Thursday, and in general, investors have been pleased with the Canadian bank’s prospects over the past several months. But in light of surprisingly negative news from rival Bank of Montreal (NYSE: BMO  ) on Tuesday, Toronto-Dominion Bank will have to demonstrate that it’s able to avoid the troubles that hurt its rival’s results during the most recent quarter.

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB)

Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB), incorporated on January 19, 1984, is a bank holding company. The Company has one wholly owned operating subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust (the Bank), which offers a range of deposit, loan, and related banking products, as well as brokerage services provided, through a third-party brokerage arrangement. In addition, the Company offers trust and investment management services, through its subsidiary, Bar Harbor Trust Services (Trust Services), a trust company. These products and services are offered to individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organizations and municipalities. In August 2012, the Company announced that its principal subsidiary, Bar Harbor Bank & Trust, acquired Border Trust Company (Border Trust), a subsidiary of Border Bancshares, Inc.

Bar Harbor Bank & Trust

The Bank has 12 branch offices located throughout downeast and midcoast Maine, including its principal office in Bar Harbor. The Bank’s offices are located in Hancock, Washington and Knox Counties, representing the Bank’s principal market areas. The Hancock County offices, in addition to Bar Harbor, are located in Blue Hill, Deer Isle, Ellsworth, Northeast Harbor, Somesville, Southwest Harbor, and Winter Harbor. The Washington County offices are located in Milbridge, Machias, and Lubec. The Knox County office is located in Rockland. The Bank delivers its operations and technology support services from its operations center located in Ellsworth, Maine.

The Bank is a retail bank serving individual and business customers, retail establishments and restaurants, seasonal lodging, biological research laboratories, and a contingent of retirees. As a coastal bank, it serves the tourism, hospitality, lobstering, fishing, boat building and marine services industries. It also serves Maine’s wild blueberry industry through its Hancock and Washington County offices. The Bank operates in a market that includes o ther community banks, savings institutions, credit unions, a! nd branch offices of statewide and interstate bank holding companies located in the Bank’s market area.

The Bank offers a variety of consumer financial products and services. The Bank’s retail deposit products and services include checking accounts, interest bearing negotiable order of withdrawal (NOW) accounts, money market accounts, savings accounts, club accounts, short-term and long-term certificates of deposit, health savings accounts and individual retirement accounts. Credit products and services include home mortgages, residential construction loans, home equity loans and lines of credit, credit cards, installment loans, and overdraft protection services. The Bank provides secured and unsecured installment loans for new or used automobiles, boats, recreational vehicles, mobile homes and other personal needs. The Bank also offers other customary products and services, such as safe deposit box rentals, wire transfers, check collection services, foreign currency exchange, money orders, and United States Savings Bonds redemptions.

The Bank retains Infinex Investments, Inc., (Infinex) as a third-party broker-dealer, conducting business business name Bar Harbor Financial Services. Bar Harbor Financial Services is a branch office of Infinex, an independent registered broker-dealer offering securities and insurance products that is not affiliated with the Company or its subsidiaries. Bar Harbor Financial Services principally serves the brokerage needs of individuals, including first-time purchasers and investors. It also offers a line of life insurance, annuity, and retirement products, as well as financial planning services. The Bank offers Internet banking services, including free check images and electronic bill payment, through its Website at www.BHBT.com. Additionally, the Bank offers TeleDirect, an interactive voice response system, through which customers can check account balances and activity, as well as i nitiate money transfers between their accounts. Automated te! ller mach! ines (ATMs) are located at each of the Bank’s 12 branch locations, as well as two machines in non-Bank locations. The Bank is also a member of Maine Cash Access, providing customers with surcharge-free access to 217 ATMs throughout the state of Maine. Visa debit cards are also offered, providing customers with free access to their deposit account balances at point of sale locations worldwide.

The Bank serves the small business market throughout downeast and midcoast Maine. It offers business loans to individuals, partnerships, corporations, and other business entities for capital construction, real estate and equipment financing, working capital, real estate development, and a range of other business purposes. Business loans are provided primarily to organizations and sole proprietors in the tourism, hospitality, healthcare, blueberry, boatbuilding, and fishing industries, as well as to other small and mid-size businesses associated with coastal communities.

The Bank offers a variety of commercial deposit accounts, including business checking and tiered money market accounts. These accounts are typically used as operating accounts or short-term savings vehicles. The Bank’s cash management services provide business customers with short-term investment opportunities through a cash management sweep program, whereby excess operating funds over established thresholds are swept into overnight securities sold under agreements to repurchase. The Bank also offers Business On Line Direct (BOLD), an Internet banking service for businesses. This service allows business clients to view their account histories, print statements, view check images, order stop payments, transfer funds between accounts, transmit automated clearing house (ACH) files, and order both domestic and foreign wire transfers. The Bank also offers remote deposit capture, enabling its business customers to deposit checks remotely. Other commercial banking ser vices include merchant credit card processing provided throu! gh a thir! d party vendor, night depository, and coin and currency handling.

Bar Harbor Trust Services

Trust Services provides a range of trust and investment management services to individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and municipalities. Trust Services serves as trustee of both living trusts and trusts under wills, including revocable and irrevocable, charitable remainder and testamentary trusts, and in this capacity holds, accounts for and manages financial assets, real estate and special assets. Trust Services offers custody, estate settlement, and fiduciary tax services. Additionally, Trust Services offers employee benefit trust services, for which it acts as trustee, custodian, administrator and/or investment advisor, for employee benefit plans and for corporate, self employed, municipal and not-for-profit employers located throughout the Company’s market areas. As of December 31, 2011, Trust Services served 758 client accounts.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Bar Harbor, Maine-based bank holding company Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) raised its quarterly dividend 1.6% to 32.5 cents per share, payable on Mar. 14 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 15.
    BHB Dividend Yield: 3.37%

  • [By Marc Bastow]

    Bar Harbor, Maine based bank holding company Bar Harbor Bankshares (BHB) raised its quarterly dividend 1.6% to 32 cents per share, payable on Dec. 13 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15. The increase marks the 10th consecutive quarter of dividend increases.
    BHB Dividend Yield: 3.39%

Best Bank Stocks To Buy Right Now: Union First Market Bankshares Corp (UBSH)

Union First Market Bankshares Corporation is a bank holding company. The Company offers financial services through its community bank subsidiary Union First Market Bank and three non-bank financial services affiliates. The Company’s non-bank financial services affiliates are Union Mortgage Group, Inc., Union Investment Services, Inc. and Union Insurance Group, LLC. The Company operates in two segments: traditional full service community banking business and its mortgage loan origination business. The Company is a community banking organization based in Virginia and provides full service banking to the Northern, Central, Rappahannock, Shenandoah, Tidewater, and Northern Neck regions of Virginia through Union First Market Bank. Union First Market Bank (the Bank) is a full service community bank offering consumers and businesses a range of banking and related financial services, including checking, savings, certificates of deposit and other depository services, as well as l oans for commercial, industrial, residential mortgage and consumer purposes. The Bank issues credit cards and delivers automated teller machine (ATM) services. The Bank also offers Internet banking services and online bill payment for all customers, whether retail or commercial. The Bank also offers private banking and trust services to individuals and corporations through its Financial Guidance Group. In January 2014, the Company acquired StellarOne Corporation.

As of December 31, 2011, Union First Market Bank operated 99 locations in the counties of Albemarle, Caroline, Chesterfield, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Frederick, Hanover, Henrico, James City, King George, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun, Nelson, Northumberland, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Warren, Washington, Westmoreland, York, and the independent cities of Charlottesville, Colonial Heights, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Harrisonburg, Newport News, Richmond, Staunton, Stephens City, Waynesb oro, Williamsburg, and Winchester. Union First Market Bank a! lso operates loan production offices in Staunton, Winchester, and Tappahannock. Union Investment Services, Inc. provides brokerage services; Union Mortgage Group, Inc. provides a line of mortgage products, and Union Insurance Group, LLC offers various lines of insurance products. Union First Market Bank also owns a non-controlling interest in Johnson Mortgage Company, L.L.C.

Union Investment Services, Inc. provides securities, brokerage and investment advisory services. It has 11 offices within the Bank’s trade area and is a full service investment company handling all aspects of wealth management, including stocks, bonds, annuities, mutual funds and financial planning. Securities are offered through a third party contractual arrangement with Raymond James Financial Services, Inc., an independent broker dealer. Union Mortgage Group, Inc., (UMG) has offices in Virginia (seven), Maryland (three), North Carolina (three), and South Carolina (two). UMG is also lic ensed to do business in selected states throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast, as well as Washington, D.C. It provides a variety of mortgage products to customers in those areas. The mortgage loans originated by UMG are generally sold in the secondary market through purchase agreements with institutional investors. Union Insurance Group, LLC (UIG), an insurance agency, is owned by the Bank and Union Mortgage. This agency operates in a joint venture with Bankers Insurance, LLC, an insurance agency owned by community banks across Virginia and managed by the Virginia Bankers Association. UIG generates revenue through sales of various insurance products, including long term care insurance and business owner policies.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Sean Williams]

    What: Shares of StellarOne (NASDAQ: STEL  ) , a commercial, mortgage, and wealth management bank servicing small and medium-sized businesses in Virginia, jumped as much as 20% after agreeing to be purchased by Union First Market Bancshares (NASDAQ: UBSH  ) .

  • [By GuruFocus]

    Reduced: Union First Market Bankshares Corp (UBSH)

    Tom Gayner reduced to his holdings in Union First Market Bankshares Corp by 12.64%. His sale prices were between $18.24 and $20.59, with an estimated average price of $19.52. The impact to his portfolio due to this sale was -0.18%. Tom Gayner still held 1,658,339 shares as of 06/30/2013.