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West End Indiana Bancshares, Inc.  (WEIN)
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    Sector  Financial    Industry Regional Banks


West End Indiana Bancshares, Inc.

Business Description

As a registered savings and loan holding company, West End Indiana Bancshares, Inc. is authorized to pursue other business activities permitted by applicable laws and regulations, which may include the acquisition of banking and financial services companies. We may also borrow funds for reinvestment in West End Bank, S.B.

Our principal business consists of attracting retail deposits from the general public in our market area and investing those deposits, together with funds generated from operations, and to a lesser extent, borrowings, in one- to four-family residential real estate loans, indirect automobile loans, commercial and multi-family real estate loans, and, to a lesser extent, second mortgages and equity lines of credit, construction loans and commercial business loans. We also purchase investment securities consisting primarily of securities issued by United States Government agencies and government-sponsored entities and mortgage-backed securities.

In 2004 management implemented a strategy to diversify our traditional thrift focus into a more community bank-like institution with a broadened base of financial products and services while continuing to emphasize superior customer service. Residential real estate lending has and will remain an important part of our operations, however, we have also expanded our focus into non-residential lending, including in particular indirect automobile lending. Our consumer lending business lines and our interest rate risk strategies (such as selling most of the fixed-rate one- to four-family residential real estate loans that we originate) have allowed us to continue to grow and remain profitable despite the challenging economy and interest rate environment of recent years and increasing regulatory burden placed on all financial institutions.

Our principal lending activity is originating one- to four-family residential real estate loans, indirect automobile loans, commercial and multi-family real estate loans, second mortgages and equity lines of credit, construction loans and commercial business loans. In recent years, we have increased and expect to continue to increase, our indirect automobile loans and our commercial business loans, which serves to strengthen the overall yield earned on our loans and shorten asset duration. As a long-standing community lender, we believe we can effectively compete for this business by emphasizing superior customer service and local underwriting, which we believe differentiates us from larger commercial banks in our primary market area.

Our lending is subject to written underwriting standards and origination procedures. Decisions on loan applications are made on the basis of detailed applications submitted by the prospective borrower and property valuations (consistent with our appraisal policy) prepared by outside independent licensed appraisers approved by our board of directors as well as internal evaluations, where permitted by regulations. The loan applications are designed primarily to determine the borrower’s ability to repay the requested loan, and the more significant items on the application are verified through use of credit reports, financial statements and tax returns.

Our commercial business loans consist of term loans as well as regular lines of credit and revolving lines of credit to finance short-term working capital needs like accounts receivable and inventory. Our commercial lines of credit are generally priced on an adjustable-rate basis and may be secured or unsecured. We generally obtain personal guarantees with all commercial business loans. Business assets such as accounts receivable, inventory, equipment, furniture and fixtures may be used to secure lines of credit. Our lines of credit typically have a maximum term of 12 months. We also originate commercial term loans to fund long-term borrowing needs such as purchasing equipment, property improvements or other fixed asset needs. We fix the maturity of a term loan to correspond to 80% of the useful life of any equipment purchased or seven years, whichever is less. Term loans can be secured with a variety of collateral, including business assets such as accounts receivable and inventory or long-term assets such as equipment, furniture, fixtures or real estate.

When an insured institution classifies problem assets as either substandard or doubtful, it may establish general allowances in an amount deemed prudent by management to cover probable accrued losses. General allowances represent loss allowances which have been established to cover probable accrued losses associated with lending activities, but which, unlike specific allowances, have not been allocated to particular problem assets. When an insured institution classifies problem assets as “loss,” it is required either to establish a specific allowance for losses equal to 100% of that portion of the asset so classified or to charge-off such amount. An institution’s determination as to the classification of its assets and the amount of its valuation allowances is subject to review by the regulatory authorities, which may require the establishment of additional general or specific loss allowances.

We may sell a certain amount of the loans we originate into the secondary market and in recent years, based upon our interest rate risk analysis, we have sold most of the fixed-rate, one- to four-family residential real estate loans that we originated to Freddie Mac, although we are also approved to sell to the Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis. On an ongoing basis, we consider our balance sheet as well as market conditions in making decisions as to whether to hold the mortgage loans we originate for investment or to sell such loans to investors, choosing the strategy that is most advantageous to us from a profitability and risk management standpoint.


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