Bank of ND shows record profits — Burgum criticizes Legislature for taking $150 million of profits for the General Fund
The Bank of North Dakota is reporting record assets of $10.2 billion, at the end of 2022.
Bank President Todd Steinwand told the state Industrial Commission the loan portfolio grew to a record $5.4 billion. Business loans were up by $675 million, and agriculture loans increased by $8 million.
The Bank also reported record profits of $191.2 million — an increase of $41 million from 2021. And it reported a 19 percent return on investment.
The Legislature transferred $150 million of those profits to the state’s general fund. And that action drew some criticism from Gov. Doug Burgum, the chair of the Industrial Commission. He said the latest revenue numbers from April showed tax collections ahead of the forecast by $150 million, and that transfer wasn’t necessary.
"That's going to end up somehow being deposited back in the Bank, at checking account interest rates," Burgum said. "This circular removal of the BND profits, to pay for stuff that we don't need to use BND profits to pay for, is actually a gigantic misuse of cash."
Burgum said that money could be used for other investments. He said the Legislature approved a “cash management” study of all the different funds the state manages – and bank profits will be a part of that.
"I think we can show conclusively, with data, that pulling money out of the bank when we don't need it, is really bad," Burgum said. "That's one of the top order bad cash management things we do."
The study – approved as part of the Office of Management and Budget bill – is designed to make recommendations to improve the cash management of the state’s various special funds.