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Published: Saturday, 4/2/2005

Luckey bank reports loss of $368,000

LUCKEY, Ohio - Exchange Bancshares Inc., parent of Exchange Bank, lost $368,000 last year, at least partly because of northwest Ohio's high bankruptcy rate, the firm said this week.

It was the firm's second loss in three years.

The company, in a report to its 780 shareholders yesterday, said it is withholding dividends because of rules set by regulators, and its 10 directors agreed to serve last year without the usual fee of $250 for each monthly board meeting.

Despite a drop of 11 percent in assets, to $91 million, the bank managed to cut its nonperforming loans in half to $934,000 last year, the company said.

The company said it has adopted new lending policies and added a credit analyst.

Exchange's loss for the year amounted to 63 cents a share, compared to profit of $301,000, or 51 cents a share, in 2003, according to its financial report this week to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

It reported net interest income of $3 million in 2004, down 18 percent from $3.7 million in 2003.

The 99-year-old bank also said it took a loan-loss provision of $542,000 for 2004, up from $250,000 in 2003.

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