The year 2016 was one of exceptional success for Guaranty Bank & Trust Company. We saw total assets rise almost 15% to more than $700 million; loan growth of over 10% to $479 million; deposits rose more than 22% to $630 million, all while setting records for income and return to our stockholders.
We have successfully implanted our de-novo branching initiative that has aided in this growth. During 2016, Guaranty Bank opened full service banking centers in both Grenada and Southaven. These two banking centers fit into our strategy of filling our footprint through the I-55 corridor of northwest Mississippi. Both new facilities have helped cement our commitment to the communities of northwest Mississippi as well as adding another level of customer convenience to our existing branch network.
In addition to our new facilities, we have also made significant investments in our existing communities over the year, mainly with the historical renovation of 101 Jackson Street in Belzoni. This significantly increased our office space at our headquarters to allow for continued growth without the need for further facilities. We will also begin renovations of our Indianola office in 2017 and look forward to the expanded and renovated banking center being completed by mid-2017.
While the bank brought on new personnel during 2016, Jo Wylie, who invested 41 years at Guaranty Bank retired at the end of 2016. From her location in Hollandale, Jo served in virtually every possible position during her tenure at the bank. Her service is something to be commended and is a testament to the dedication of our staff. Thank you, Jo!
Investment in technology has been another focus for the bank during 2016. Instant Issue cards allow us to put the purchasing and ATM access power of our debit cards into a customer’s hand immediately. We also launched U-Open, which allows 24-hour access through www.gbtonline.com to deposit account openings and applications for consumer lending products.
All the successes that have been achieved can be attributed to our team members’ focus on building long-term advisory relationships.