A letter from Brad Baldwin, President of First Utah Bank - First Utah Bank | Personal Banking | Business Banking | Treasury Management | Loans

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A letter from Brad Baldwin, President of First Utah Bank

Dear Friends,

As we all know, 2021 has been another unprecedented year and much has happened in a few short months. First Utah Bank has grown over the past few years, and we are proud to serve the Utah community, where all of our employees, owners, and most customers live. This year we participated in the Second Draw Payroll Protection Program and made several hundred additional PPP loans. These loans provided tremendous support to our many business customers. Some of the loans were in the millions, but most were less than $50,000, and some were just a few hundred dollars, but they helped small businesses of all sizes. It has also been gratifying to see so many customers actually thrive, with many adapting to the market and changing their business models to capture customers and take advantage of new business realities.

We have adapted our business as well. In fact, on a snowy day, most of our employees can easily work from home since we developed this capability during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our customers have accelerated the adoption of new banking technology and most do their banking using these technologies for making payments, making on-site or mobile deposits, signing documents, electronic transfers and payments, and other banking activities that used to require a trip to the Bank. As we like to say, banking is now something you do, not necessarily where you go.

The Utah market continues to outpace the rest of the country. Unemployment is near 2%, the lowest in the nation. Housing prices increased 22% and construction seems to be everywhere. The new airport is open and 6 or 7 new high-rise buildings are underway downtown. Utah has been discovered as a great place to live and do business, which is also true for the Rocky Mountain region generally. The downside of this is increasing costs and supply chain disruption for many of us, inflation pressure, a tight labor market, and a lack of affordable housing. The bank does finance many developers and builders, and we focus on first-time home buyers. But still, houses are being sold and apartments rented, as fast as they can be built.

In 2021, First Utah Bank identified several pressing community needs, and we are proud that we have sponsored many community organizations that do great work. We have donated hundreds of thousands to address food insecurity, education, and refugee relocation. We have a core belief that investing in our community, with both money and time, benefits all of us in more ways than one.

This year, we also opened our newest branch in Lehi, Utah. We have many great customers in Northern Utah County and we are now conveniently located at 3600 North Digital Drive, near the Traverse Mountain Outlet Mall, Adobe Headquarters, and Thanksgiving Point. The Bank continues to grow and we see great opportunity for us and our customers here in the Utah market.

We were pleased recently when City Weekly Magazine and their thousands of readers voted First Utah Bank as the Best Bank in Utah in their 2021 Best of Utah edition. We will continue to do all we can to live up to this high standard. Our philosophy is to know our customers and make sure they know us. Of course, we like hearing from our customers, the good and where we can improve. Please feel free to call us, stop by a branch, or let me know directly your thoughts and ideas on how we can improve even more (Bbaldwin@firstutahbank.com).

Thanks for all that you do. Onward and upward in 2022!