Loss shrinks at Mount Pleasant bank owner for 2014, but grows in 4Q

Tidelands Bank reported a small profit last year, but the holding company that owns the Mount Pleasant-based lender did not.

The loss widened in the fourth quarter but it narrowed for all of 2014 for the owner of Tidelands Bank.

The deficit at Tidelands Bancshares Inc. for the October-December period was $611,674. That was up about $377,000 from a year earlier.

For all of 2014, the Mount Pleasant-based company’s loss narrowed to $1.65 million, or $522,000 less than in 2013, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Thomas Lyles, CEO, said the increase in the fourth quarter was driven mainly by writedowns of repossessed real estate and by legal costs associated with problem loans.

“Those are our big two numbers right now,” Lyles said Wednesday.

Tidelands, which is still recovering from the last recession, said its loan quality showed continued improvement last year. Delinquent borrowings that weren’t accruing interest dropped by more than half to $7 million.

“We’re getting to the end of that bucket of problem assets,” Lyles said.

The holding company also reported a $235,711 profit for its seven-branch bank for 2014, compared to a $451,280 loss for the previous year, according to the SEC filing.

The earnings figures for Tidelands Bancshares include dividends that the company owes but hasn’t paid yet on stock it sold to the U.S. Treasury under the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The annual yield on the TARP shares nearly doubled to 9 percent from 5 percent in May, or about $1.3 million. The deferred dividends total more than $3.8 million.

“We continue to have conversations about TARP, but nothing that I can talk about at this point,” Lyles said.

Separately, Tidelands announced it has reduced the size of its board by one to seven members, citing the Jan. 18 death of director and local businessman John T. Parker Jr. The vacancy won’t be filled.

“Mr. Parker served ably and with distinction as a director of the company since the company’s formation in 2002,” the holding company said in a regulatory filing.

Contact John McDermott at 937-5572.