Santa Cruz County Bank In The News
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.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.
Santa Cruz County Bank, led by CEO David Heald, already has five branches — in Santa Cruz, Aptos, Capitola, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. The deal, which is expected to close in the third quarter, will add Lighthouse’s two outposts in Santa Cruz and Cupertino.Read the full story at www.bizjournals.com
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.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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.Read the full story at www.register-pajaronian.com
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.
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.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
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
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.