NBT reports 2007 earnings

NORWICH – NBT Bancorp reported today that its net income for 2007 was $50.3 million, down $5.6 million, or 10 percent, from 2006.

NBT says the decrease in net income was primarily the result of a $20.7 million increase in the provision for loan and lease losses from 2006, due to an increase in non-performing loans and charge-offs.

Increases in net interest and non-interest income helped offset the loan and lease loss provisions, NBT reported.

“The financial services industry as a whole was faced with challenging market conditions and credit-quality issues in 2007,” said NBT President and CEO Martin Dietrich. “While the dollar amount of NBT’s non-performing loans in the fourth quarter was similar to that of the third quarter, the potential number of problem loans in our portfolio decreased 9 percent from the third quarter and is now consistent with levels from the first half of 2007. We remain confident that our conservative credit approach and disciplined underwriting practices are effective.”

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