Bangor Savings Bank CEO Bob Montgomery-Rice. Credit: Gabor Degre / BDN

Bangor Savings Bank enjoyed another record-breaking year for net income despite plummeting mortgage loan applications and economists’ fears of an impending recession.

The bank netted $49.8 million between April 1, 2021, and March 31 of this year, according to its newly released 2022 annual report. That was more than a 20 percent increase from the previous year, when the bank with headquarters on the Bangor waterfront netted $40.5 million.

Much of that was driven by a growing wealth management division, an increase in customer deposits and a solidification of its position as the largest bank headquartered in northern New England, chief executive officer Bob Montgomery-Rice said Monday.

Some of Bangor Savings Bank’s growth has followed acquisitions of smaller banks in recent years that gave it a foothold in New Hampshire and on Maine’s midcoast. Bangor Savings’ most recent acquisition was of Damariscotta Bank and Trust, which it announced in December 2019.

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The bank’s assets grew 11.9 percent over the past year to $6.9 billion, according to the annual report.

The bank loaned out $2 billion between April 1, 2021, and March 31, with residential mortgage loans making up some $1.2 billion of that total.

That was nearly 30 percent lower than the previous year, due to rising interest rates, which also discouraged people from refinancing existing loans, and too few properties for the number of people looking to buy, Montgomery-Rice said.

While prices in Maine’s real estate market have been on the rise, the number of sales has been dropping in recent months and could drop further in the summer as the Federal Reserve recent interest rate hike sets in. The Fed raised interest rates earlier this month as part of an attempt to reduce high inflation.

The 30-year average fixed mortgage rate was 5.81 percent as of last week, up from 3.02 percent a year ago.

But while “things have slowed, they’re still not extremely slow,” Montgomery-Rice said, adding that around 70 percent of its loans went to people seeking residential mortgages, and 30 percent for commercial properties.

The bank recorded $200 million in mortgage loans between April 1 and Monday, 76 percent of which went to people seeking new mortgage loans, Montgomery-Rice said.

Lia Russell

Lia Russell is a reporter on the city desk for the Bangor Daily News. Send tips to LRussell@bangordailynews.com.