Santa Cruz County Bank In The News

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Santa Cruz County Bank in the News

Business Digest: Bank merger closed Oct. 18 – 10.25.19

The merger of Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank, two locally owned and operated banks, officially closed Oct. 18. Founding directors of Lighthouse Bank John Burroughs, Craig French, Stephen Pahl and James Weisenstein have joined Santa Cruz County Bank’s board of directors. Former president of Lighthouse Bank, Jon Sisk, has joined Santa Cruz County Bank’s management team as regional president.

Both Lighthouse Bank branches, one in Santa Cruz and one in Cupertino, remain as full-service branches. Customers of both banks will have access to a total of seven branches, six in Santa Cruz County and one in Cupertino. The strategy for integration of Lighthouse Bank into Santa Cruz County Bank is underway and a complete systems conversion is scheduled for early April.

Meet Santa Cruz’s new ‘super-community’ bank: the merger of Lighthouse & Santa Cruz County Bank – 10.10.19

There are some facts about Santa Cruz that many folks still find surprising: that the first words spoken from the moon were spoken into Plantronics’ Santa Cruz-built headset; that Felipe Kahn invented the cellphone camera here; that this is a capital of the digital biotech revolution.

Here’s another fun fact: For the past 10 years in a row, Santa Cruz has been home to not one but two of the nation’s top-ranking community banks. Those would be Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank. And now, those banks are merging.

John Sisk, president of Lighthouse Bank, calls the resulting new Santa Cruz County Bank a “super-community bank.” “There are 600 banks in the United States, from JP Morgan down to the smallest guy in some small town,” Fisk says.

Santa Cruz County Bank, Lighthouse Bank shareholders back merger – 09.27.19

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank shareholders voted Sept. 18 in favor of the merger of the two banks, which was first announced May 28.

Shareholder meetings were held to count votes to determine if shareholders were in favor of the merger. More than 91% of Lighthouse Bank shareholders voted for the merger, while more than 98% of Santa Cruz County Bank shareholders voted to back it, according to a bank press release.

The merger of the locally owned and operated banks received approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Aug. 22 and approval from the California Department of Business Oversight on Sept. 17, according to Santa Cruz County Bank CEO and President David Heald.

Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank merge – 05.30.19

SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank announced Wednesday evening they will merge.

The two will be Santa Cruz County Bank with an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $68.9 million. The merger will increase Santa Cruz County Bank’s total assets to nearly $1 billion on an estimated basis with seven full service banking offices in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara counties.

William Hansen, chairman of Santa Cruz County Bank, said the conversation about merging started about seven months ago. He explained that one of the opportunities of merging is expanding their legal lending limit, which means, as a larger organization, the bank can serve larger borrowers the banks may have had to turn away as separate entities.

Two Santa Cruz-based community banks to merge into $1B institution – 05.28.19

Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank, both based in Santa Cruz, said Tuesday afternoon that they plan to merge in a deal that will create a combined South Bay institution with nearly $1 billion in assets and seven banking branches in the region.

Lighthouse Bank, the smaller of the two lenders, will merge into Santa Cruz County Bank in an all-stock deal valued at about $68.87 million, or $25.50 per Lighthouse share. Shares of Lighthouse, which trade on the over-the-counter markets, closed at $23.70 on Tuesday, ahead of the announcement.

Lighthouse Bank President Jon Sisk will join Santa Cruz County Bank as a regional president and Lighthouse CEO Lane Lawson, one of the original executives who helped found the bank in 2007, will retire after 12 years with the company, the two banks said.

Business Digest: Santa Cruz County Bank ranked 12 of 200 banks – 05.28.19

SANTA CRUZ - Santa Cruz County Bank recognized in American Banker Magazine

Santa Cruz County Bank has ranked as 12th in the Top Performing 200 Community Banks and Thrifts in the United States. This is the sixth consecutive year that the bank has ranked in this category. Santa Cruz County Bank ranked fourth in the state out of a total of 26 California banks ranked in American Banker Magazine’s Top 200 Community Bank list. Ranking is based upon a three year average return on equity for the end of 2016, 2017 and 2018. Santa Cruz County Bank’s return on equity was 12.97%. The nationwide ranking included 601 publicly traded institutions with less than $2 billion in assets. The median three-year return on average equity for the top 200 banks was 9.89% compared to a median of 6.95% for all institutions.

Banks and credit unions release Q1 earnings – 05.05.19

SANTA CRUZ– Local banks and credit unions reach new asset records for the first quarter of 2019.

Santa Cruz County Bank announced earnings of $2.96 million. Compared to $2.5 million for the first quarter of 2018, earnings have grown by 17%.

The total assets as of March 31 are nearly $668.1 million. Assets were approximately $645.4 million at the end of March 2018.

The bank experienced a 3% growth in loans, or a $15.7 million increase from the first quarter of 2018. Deposits grew by 1%, a $5.4 million increase compared to the first quarter of 2018.

Basic earnings per share increased to $1.21 from $1.05 over the first quarter of 2018. Earnings per share measure the health and profitability of a company.

Local bank holds fundraising walk – 04.23.19

Monarch Service’s main event to be held this Thursday

SANTA CRUZ — On April 17, about 50 men from businesses across Santa Cruz County donned high heels and participated in a special fundraising walk.

In order to raise funds for the upcoming “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes,” organized by Monarch Services, the men gathered at Santa Cruz County Bank’s (SCCB) main headquarters on River Street in Santa Cruz for a ‘pre-walk’ event.

Business Digest: Santa Cruz County Bank honored for financial performance – 04.17.19

Santa Cruz County Bank honored

Santa Cruz County Bank received the designation of Super Premier Performing Bank by Findley Reports Inc. for the ninth consecutive year.

For a bank to achieve the Super Premier performance rating, it must meet four key performance ratios established by Findley: growth, return on beginning equity, net operating income as a percentage of average assets and loan losses as a percentage of gross loans. The designation is based on 2018 financial performance. The Findley Reports is the reporting service of The Findley Cos. and recognizes the financial performance of banking institutions in California and the Western U.S.

Homelessness shelter operator Santa Cruz’s next landlord? – 04.12.19

SANTA CRUZ — Looking to expand beyond short-term sheltering of the needy, the Homeless Services Center is aiming to bolster the housing market itself.

When looking to create permanent housing, the nonprofit’s leaders had to look no further than a historic home, vacant for the past two decades, just steps from their 115 Coral St. property. On March 20, the organization paid $825,000 to buy the two-story Victorian at 801 River St., on the corner of Coral Street, with financing from Santa Cruz County Bank and Community Foundation Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz County Bank celebrates 15 years – 02.06.19

SANTA CRUZ - For Santa Cruz County Bank's CEO David Heald, being a community bank is about helping small businesses make hard choices. "My biggest pride and my biggest thing about being a part of a community, a banker, is seeing a business be successful," Heald said. “Watching a person that comes in, sits down in front of you, tells you their idea, has their business plan, they’re excited and you help them start their business."

Median home price, jobless rate set records in 2018 – 12.28.18

SANTA CRUZ - By many measures, the Santa Cruz County economy enjoyed a record-breaking year.

The median home price, the midpoint of what sold, set a record - $935,100 - in March. By November, it slipped to $911,250 on 134 sales, down 27 percent, according to Gary Gangnes of Real Options Realty, who tracks the numbers.

Santa Cruz County Bank Declares Quarterly Cash Dividend Payment to Shareholders – 12.18.18

Santa Cruz County Bank (OTC: SCZC), a top rated, high performing bank, announced its Board of Directors' declaration of a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.075 per share. The dividend is payable on January 10, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 28, 2018. This is the twenty-third consecutive quarterly cash dividend declared by the bank. In addition to cash dividends, a 10% stock dividend was granted to shareholders in November 2017.

Tax cut impact: Will record bank profits persist – 11.05.18

SANTA CRUZ — With banks reporting record profits after the federal tax cut on Jan. 1, investors in the two locally owned banks were likely expecting that trend to persist.

During the third quarter, Santa Cruz County Bank, founded in 2004, reported a record $2.9 million profit — the best in the bank’s history — up from $2.1 million a year ago and up from $2.7 million in the prior quarter.

Santa Cruz County Bank invests $2 million in new HQ – 09.11.18

Strolling into Santa Cruz County Bank Monday afternoon, Ian and Mary Rose Mackenzie, who own Mackenzies Chocolate, were impressed by the bank’s newly remodeled headquarters at 75 River St.

“It’s lovely,” said Mary Rose Mackenzie. Her husband added, “The parking is much better.” 

Santa Cruz County changes in housing rules on Tuesday agenda – 06.11.18

Economists say regulations are a factor in stifling development and raising prices, worsening the housing crisis, and a package of reforms to incentivize developers to build more smaller units is headed to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors. On Tuesday, supervisors will consider six reforms designed to encourage building of affordable housing and decide whether to direct planning staff to draft code changes that could return for their approval in the fall.

Farmers, supporters honored at luncheon – 03.15.18

WATSONVILLE - In the early days of the country, the majority of Americans were either involved in agriculture themselves or had a family member who was.

Fast forward to 2018, when many children think their food comes from the supermarket.

Santa Cruz County Bank posts record profit despite tax reform hit – 02.15.18

Santa Cruz County Bank posted a record profit of $6.8 million for 2017, but the tax reform law signed after Christmas took away $1.5 million, money that could have been loaned for business expansion.

“Banks are big winners from tax cut,” concluded The New York Times, reporting last month on the impact of the corporate tax rate dropping from 35 percent to 21 percent.

Santa Cruz County Bank snags new home in vacant building downtown – 12.18.17

Next year, Santa Cruz County Bank will move into a new headquarters at 75 River St., filling a downtown building that was vacant for nine years in the wake of a big bank merger. “It’s the gateway to downtown,” Casey Beyer, Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce executive director, said of the location at River and Water streets. “It improves that corner.”

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