The Independent Community Bankers of America has listed Northpointe Bank in Grand Rapids as one of the top-performing community banks in the U.S. in its 2015 ratings, based on earnings and operational efficiencies throughout 2014.
The ICBA, which has more than 6,000 member banks, based rankings on year-end FDIC call reports in six asset-size categories, both for Subchapter C corporations and Subchapter S corporation banks.
Northpointe is ranked 46th in the ICBA’s top 50 lenders among U.S. community banks with less than $500 million in assets. Only two other Michigan banks are on that list: Bay Port State Bank in Bay Port, a small town in the Michigan Thumb; and Main Street Bank in Bingham Farms, near Detroit. Bay Port has $89 million in assets and Main Street $177 million.
One other Michigan bank made the ICBA 2015 top listings: Crestmark Bank, which is in Troy and has assets of $693 million, was ranked No. 1 among the top 25 banks with $500 million or more in assets. Crestmark’s No. 1 position was in the field of business lending.
Northpointe, which had $421 million in total assets when the list was prepared, is privately held and was founded in Grand Rapids 15 years ago by Charles Williams, who is CEO.
FDIC call reports show that Northpointe had total assets of $316 million on March 31, 2014, with 122 full-time-equivalent employees. One year later, it reported total assets of $455 million and 170 FTE employees.
Mike Winks, executive vice president and chief lending officer at Northpointe, said it is a state-chartered commercial bank that does “some” commercial lending but “it’s just not a large portion of our business,” he said.
“A big part of our business is the deposit banking and mortgage residential lending,” he added.
When founded, Northpointe was more focused on business banking, but a few years ago, it shifted its emphasis to consumer lending. When he joined the company in 2012, it originated about $70 million in mortgages that year.
“This year we’re on pace to do about two and a half billion,” said Winks.
Northpointe got an impressive listing in the Q1 2015 rankings of U.S. one-to-four family residential mortgages originated for sale, as published by Thomson Reuters Eikon. In the fourth quarter of 2014, Northpointe was ranked No. 53; in the first quarter of this year, it had moved up to 32.
Winks attributes the growth to the boutique-type consulting offered to homebuyers or those looking to refinance.
“We lend in probably 30 states, and our growth has allowed us to create new jobs here in West Michigan. I think we’ve grown just about twice the size in employee count in the last three years.”
The resurgence of the home market in the wake of the Great Recession has some competitors so busy their mortgage processing time has lengthened, whereas Northpointe’s processing time has stayed short since Winks has been with the company.
“The supply (of homes for sale) has been low — it’s been a challenge,” said Winks. “But I think more and more homeowners are confident they can sell their property, so that helps.”
What are the best selling price points in West Michigan homes?
“I think the market is healthy, overall,” he said, adding it would be difficult to isolate any given price point as above all others in buyer interest.
What areas in West Michigan are best for Northpointe’s mortgage business?
“We are ranked strong in Kent and Ottawa counties” in terms of market share, he replied. Kalamazoo County is third in terms of market share, and is moving up.
Northpointe also has a warehouse lending business, which is extending credit to other mortgage companies for home financing. The other companies are not banks or deposit businesses.