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Bank looking for Mid-County location

January 9, 2007

The following is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel, to visit the Santa Cruz Sentinel web site, click here.

Bank looking for Mid-County location By JONDI GUMZ Sentinel staff writer Now that assets have topped the $125 million milestone, Santa Cruz County Bank is looking for a home in Mid-County. President and CEO David Heald said he is looking at various properties in Aptos, Capitola and Soquel for a full-service office to broaden the bank's customer base. The locally owned bank, launched a little more than two and a half years ago, has offices in Santa Cruz, Watsonville and Scotts Valley, none of which is especially convenient to people with busy schedules in Mid-County. "We're trying to find the ideal location," said Mary Anne Carson, bank senior vice president and director of marketing. The right site will have sufficient parking, easy access and visibility. Commercial real estate broker Ron Hirsch said the bank's quest will not be easy. "There are very few spots available," he said. "Soquel may have a few more potential sites." Business is booming in the 41st Avenue corridor in Capitola, and a newly opened Safeway superstore just off Highway 1 is a big attraction in Soquel. Heald said he was pleased with the results from the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The bank reported its fifth consecutive quarterly profit, with net income of $465,595, up 20 percent compared to the previous quarter. Total deposits have grown to $107.4 million, up 8 percent compared to the previous quarter. To guard against identity theft, the bank has upgraded its security system for customers banking online. Customers keep the same password but select an image, a caption and several questions to be answered. When the user ID is entered, the system will respond with the image and caption and ask for the password. If someone has stolen the password, the system protects against fraud by refusing access to people who can't answer the questions correctly. The system, called "Advanced Online Authentication," has already been adopted by banks in Lemon Bay, Fla., Atmore, Ala., and Pequot Lakes, Minn. Contact Jondi Gumz at jgumz@santacruzsentinel.com Earnings report 3rd Qtr 2006 2nd Qtr 2006 Revenue $2,385,793 $2,090,551 Net income $468,595 $391,304 Deposits $107.4 million $99.4 million Loans $82.5 million $81.3 million Total assets $125.1 million $116.3 million OTC: SCZC Number of employees: 39 Stock price: $25.25 (last trade)

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