Santa Cruz County Bank In The News
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.”
Heald became president of the bank in 2006. He started as chief credit officer when the bank opened in February 2004.
Sunday marked Santa Cruz County Bank’s 15th anniversary. To celebrate, the bank is holding its customer appreciation week through Friday. Each of the bank’s branches has free cookies from Pacific Cookie Company and coffee for customers.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.
In June, the number of jobs set a record — 119,700 — the most in 28 years.
In September, unemployment dropped to 3.5 percent, the lowest in 28 years.
Hotel occupancy reached a record 85.6 percent in July, and average room rates set a record $172 per night through November, according to STR. which tracks the industry.
“Very strong” is how David Heald, president and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank since 2006, said he sees it.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.
Lighthouse Bank, founded in 2007, reported profit of $1.1 million, up from $978,000 a year ago, but down from $1.2 million in the prior quarter.
Both saw income taxes decline from a year ago, from $1.4 million to $1.2 million for Santa Cruz County Bank and from $560,000 to $470,000 for Lighthouse Bank.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.”
The locally-owned bank, which has $635 million in assets, moved in 47 employees last week after completing a renovation that cost “close to $2 million,” according to David Heald, the bank’s president and CEO.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.
The Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau called on community members Wednesday to bridge that gap and encourage young people to consider careers in agriculture.
That was the message from Thomas Broz, president of the farm bureau, during the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon at the fairgrounds.
“The National Ag Day program believes that every American should understand how food is produced and the role that agriculture plays in our strong economy,” he said.Read the full story at register-pajaronian.com
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, founded in 2004, has been reporting profits year after year, with no loans past due, and rated 24th in the nation last year for return on equity by American Banker magazine.
The largest construction lender in Santa Cruz County, the bank made $77 million in new construction loan commitments in 2017, according to regulatory reports. The bank has grown to 90 employees, signed a 20-year lease for more spacious quarters at 75 River St., is financing a number of local housing developments and is considering investing in social entrepreneur Sibley Simon’s New Way Homes.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.”
Mayor David Terrazas applauded the bank’s move, saying it “shows the commitment to our community.”
He added, “This signifies a significant investment in our downtown.”Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Santa Cruz County Bank has declared a 10 percent stock dividend payable on Nov. 10 to shareholders as of the close of business on Oct. 31 with cash paid in lieu of fractional shares based on the closing price.
This is the first stock dividend declared by the bank, after 18 consecutive quarterly cash dividends.
David Heald, Santa Cruz County Bank president and CEO, noted the record quarter and year-to-date earnings through the third quarter of 2017.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
After a year in which Santa Cruz County Bank was rated in the top 15 percent of community banks in the nation and a quarter in which Santa Cruz County Bank was rated the best community bank in California, chairman George Gallucci stepped down at Monday’s shareholders’ meeting at the Sesnon House.
Gallucci, 77, the founding board chairman, said it was time. He served for 13 years and will remain on the seven-person board.
“It has been tremendously gratifying to help steer the bank to become one of the most successful and well-respected financial institutions in the industry,” he said.
Succeeding him as chairman is William Hansen, who is moving up from vice-chairman after being in that role since the bank’s inception in 2004.
“I am honored,” said Hansen, 55, president and CEO of Hansen Insurance Agency and owner of Pacific Coast Development, which is building a $21 million apartment building in Watsonville.
David Heald, president and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank, was chosen vice chairman.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Santa Cruz County Bank is among the top performing community banks and thrifts in the U.S. for the fourth straight year, this year ranking 24th, according to American Banker Magazine.
Rankings are based on three-year average return on equity for the years ending Dec. 31, 2014, 2015 and 2016.
Santa Cruz County Bank’s three-year average return on equity was 12.90 percent. The average for the top 200 banks was 10.86 percent compared to 7.62 percent for all 669 banks and thrifts rated.
Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Santa Cruz County Bank has been named a Super Premier performing bank by The Findley Reports for the seventh consecutive year, based upon 2016 financial performance.
To achieve that rating, the highest level, a bank must meet benchmarks in growth, return, net operating income as a percentage of average assets and loan losses as a percentage of gross loans.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Santa Cruz County Bank posted a record $6.5 million profit for the year, up 19 percent, bolstered by a record $1.84 million profit for the quarter ending Dec. 31, up 26 percent from a year ago.
“Another outstanding year of earnings,” said David Heald, president and CEO of the 13-year-old bank, noting double-digit percentage growth in assets, deposits and loans and the 2016 ranking as the best in the state for financial performance.
He said his staff and the board of directors “are to be commended for our success.”
Santa Cruz County Bank has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 5 cents per share payable Jan. 10 to shareholders at the close of business Dec. 30. This is the 15th consecutive quarterly cash dividend declared by the bank.
The bank reported a record $4.7 million in profit for the nine-month period ended Sept. 30, up 17 percent, compared to the nine-month period ending Sept. 30, 2015. Book value per share on Sept. 30 was $22.41, compared to $19.81 a year ago.
Santa Cruz County Bank was ranked first among California banks for third quarter performance by Financial Management Consulting Group.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Santa Cruz County Bank posted a record-breaking third quarter, setting new marks for profit, assets and deposits. Profit totaled $1.63 million for the third quarter ending Sept. 30, up 18 percent compared to a year ago. Year-to-date net income as of Sept. 30 was $4.66 million, up 17 percent. Assets totaled $578.2 million, growing $54.6 million over the year. Deposits grew to $521.2 million, up 4 percent from June 30 and up 10 percent over the year. Loans decreased by $507,000 over the quarter due to loan sales, seasonal lines of credit and reductions in construction loans due to payoffs; compared to a year ago, loans grew to $384 million, up 12 percent. Book value per share after dividends was $22.41, up from $19.71 a year ago. Earnings per share increased from 64 cents to 75 cents, up 17 percent from a year ago. The bank’s efficiency ratio was 55.41 percent. “Solid growth in deposits placed in quality earning assets sets us on pace for another record year in growth and earnings,” said David Heald, Santa Cruz County Bank president and CEO.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
Locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank posted profit of $1.526 million for the quarter ending June 30, up 2 percent from March 31 and up 13 percent from a year ago.
The 12-year-old bank reported deposits totaled a record $502.9 million, up 7 percent from March 30 and up 11 percent from 11 percent from a year ago. Total assets grew to $558 million.
Loans totaled $384.6 million, up 14 percent from a year ago. Allowance for loan losses of $7.7 million represents a 13 percent increase from a year ago; the bank reported no loans past due.
Net interest income was $5.3 million, up 8 percent from a year ago, but down 2 percent from the prior quarter, which the bank attributed to loans paid off being replaced by loans with lower yields. Net interest margin was 4.12 percent compared to 4.26 percent a year ago and 4.31 percent for the prior quarter.
Shareholders’ equity totaled $47.5 million, up 15 percent from a year ago. Earnings were 70 cents per share, up from 63 cents per share a year ago.
Book value per share was $21.70 up from $19.18 a year ago.
Return on average equity was 13.06 percent.
Bauer Financial Reports Inc. rated Santa Cruz County Bank as Five-Star “Superior” for the quarter ending March 31. Financial Management Consulting Group ranked Santa Cruz County Bank second in overall performance among 185 California banks in 2015.
Santa Cruz County Bank ranked 44th and Lighthouse Bank 130th in American Banker’s top performing 200 community banks and thrifts in the United States.
Ranking was based on three-year average return on equity for 2013, 2014 and 2015 at 684 financial institutions with less than $2 billion in assets.
Of 18 California banks on the list, Santa Cruz County Bank ranked 5th with average return on equity of 11.90 percent; Lighthouse Bank ranked 13th with average return on equity of 9.87 percent.
Santa Cruz County Bank, founded in 2004, has $513 million in assets and a 56.55 percent efficiency ratio, according to the rankings, and Lighthouse Bank, founded in 2007, has $182 million in assets and an efficiency ratio of 52.51 percent; 50 percent is generally regarded as optimal.
Santa Cruz County Bank has been in the top 200 list for three years in a row, moving up in rank each year.
Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
It all starts with hiring good people, who are Santa Cruz County Bank’s greatest asset and the motivating force behind our top performance numbers year over year. Our community bank’s growth, reputation and delivery all hinge upon this most important factor, human capital.
Our superior performance is the result of generation and management of our earning assets. We have experienced, competent commercial lenders and a robust Small Business Administration lending department. This is coupled with strong management of the loan and investment portfolios, which are key to our superior performance. We continue to deliver value to our shareholders through successful implementation of strategic initiatives designed to grow our bank without compromising its stability.Read the full story at independentbanker.org
SANTA CRUZ — Soon the frustration will end for folks who have been unable to get a meal atLillian’s Italian Kitchen, the popular Eastside restaurant in a small spot at 1116 Soquel Ave.
After nine years and a TripAdvisor rating of fourth best restaurant in Santa Cruz based on customer reviews, the owners are about to move into a bigger space — double the seating — in the historic Ebert Building with the clock tower at 1148 Soquel Ave. They have hired almost 15 new employees to join their staff of 17.
Locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank posted a profit of $1.5 million for the quarter ending March 31, up 3 percent from the prior quarter and 20 percent from a year ago. Earnings were 69 cents per share, up from 58 cents per share a year ago.
Deposits at the 12-year-old bank grew to $472 million, up 10 percent from a year ago. Loans grew up to $375 million, up 14 percent from a year ago, with no loans past due.
Sales of SBA loans boosted non-interest income to $965,000, an increase of $387,000 more than the prior quarter when no loans were sold. Non-interest expense increased 27 percent compared to the prior quarter due to increases in the cost of employee benefits and an increase in operational losses, according to bank officials.
Return on average equity was 13.33 percent. Shareholders’ equity was $46 million, up 15 percent from a year ago. Book value per share was $21.02, increasing by $2.40 from a year ago.
The annual shareholders meeting will be at 4 p.m. May 24 at the Cabrillo College Sesnon House.
Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County Bank ranked second for overall 2015 performance of 185 banks in California evaluated by the Financial Management Consulting Group, a consulting firm based in Kentucky. The rankings are based on eight factors including margin, efficiency, asset quality and earnings.
“We are very pleased to be recognized as a top performer for the hard work and dedication of our management and employees,” said Santa Cruz County Bank President and CEO David Heald.
Lighthouse Bank, based in Santa Cruz, ranked sixth. Last year, Lighthouse Bank ranked third and Santa Cruz County Bank ranked fourth.
Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank tied for first for having the least nonperforming assets.
In asset quality, Santa Cruz County Bank ranked first; Lighthouse Bank was 17th. In noninterest income, which comes from customer fees and service charges, Santa Cruz County Bank ranked 68th and Lighthouse Bank ranked 156th.