Santa Cruz County Bank In The News
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.
SANTA CRUZ — Locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank posted a profit of $1.5 million for the fourth quarter, up 14 percent from a year ago, and a record $8.9 million profit for the fiscal year, up 24 percent from the year before.
Deposits grew to $461 million, up 11 percent from a year ago.
Loans grew to $358 million, up 13 percent from a year ago.
Three weeks ago, Stewart Peterson, owner of Coastwide Environmental Technologies, paid off the 10-year SBA loan he got from Santa Cruz County Bank to buy the contracting business, which operates from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo removing asbestos and lead.
He tackled a big project at UC Santa Cruz, the dorm floors at Porter College, where his weekly payroll for a crew of 50 to 60 totaled $190,000, a job he said he couldn’t have completed without a $400,000 line of credit from the bank.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
SANTA CRUZ -- When Ruthann Illick, Linda Ortega and Jessie Sanders went into business for themselves, they were in good company.
Santa Cruz County ranks third among metro areas in the U.S. with 3.95 women-owned businesses per 100 residents, behind Boulder, Colorado, and Miami-Fort Lauderdale, according to NerdWallet, a personal finance website.
As a result, NerdWallet rated Santa Cruz County as the fourth best place in the nation for a woman to set up a business even though the county is 13th in median annual income for women at $47,412 and 65th in loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration per 100,000 residents.
At El Pajaro Community Development Center in Watsonville, which nurtures startups and operates a kitchen incubator, 62 percent of the clients are women, according to Executive Director Carmen Herrera.
She has 15 businesses in Plaza Vigil, all owned by women, and points out 99 percent of family child care providers in the county are women.
“Santa Cruz County offers a unique collaborative culture for women entrepreneurs,” said Michele Bassi, vice president at locally owned Lighthouse Bank, citing networking circles for women, such as the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce Women in Business,Team Women and Leads.
At Santa Cruz County Bank, 13 percent of SBA loans in 2013 were to businesses owned by women, 22 percent in 2014 and 15 percent so far this year.
“It makes sense that women starting their own business would find the environment in Santa Cruz welcoming,” added David Heald, president and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank, citing the supportive culture. “I’m not sure the trend is up, however I would say it appears stable and viewed as a desirable segment.”Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
SANTA CRUZ – Locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank posted a record profit of $1.38 million for the third quarter and record year-to-date profits of $3.98 million.
David Heald, president and CEO of the 11-year-old bank, attributed the record performance to initiatives such maintaining a high quality loan portfolio while keeping on an eye on expenses.
Return on average equity was 12.94 percent. The efficiency ratio was 55.2 percent; 50 percent is considered optimum.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com
With over 20 years of experience in the business of making high tech furnaces for the fabrication of semiconductor wafers, Jonathan George, President of Expert Semiconductor Technology, a small business located in Scotts Valley, CA, has seen a lot of change in the industry. His Expertech furnaces, or reactors, are integral to the manufacture of not just semiconductors, but also for solar cell and micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) fabrication. And with the global explosion of the semiconductor industry, the market for these reactors is now global as well.
“To stay competitive in a dynamic international setting requires both cutting edge innovation and fiscal prudence,” notes George. Expertech has made big strides on both fronts. Its latest Compact Thermal Reactor (CTR) line offers a small footprint furnace ideal for R&D work in university and government labs and for pilot lines worldwide. Demand is growing and sales to foreign buyers now constitute about a third of Expertech’s annual revenue with buyers in Australia, Singapore, and the European Union.
At the same time, lowering overhead costs is just as essential for consistent profitable operations. And thanks to a loan from Expertech’s community banking partner, the company was able to purchase and move into a new, larger facility near the one it had been leasing. “Not only is the new building better suited to our needs, thanks to the financing we lined up, our overhead costs are lower,” said George.
“We were delighted to be able to help this Santa Cruz-based small business buy the property they needed,” said Sati Kanwar, a Senior Vice President at Santa Cruz County Bank. “Because the expansion supported the growth of Expertech’s foreign sales, we were able to put this loan together with a special US Small Business Administration export loan guarantee called the International Trade Loan.”
SANTA CRUZ -- Santa Cruz County Bank posted a profit of $1.35 million for the quarter ending June 30, up 32 percent from the prior quarter and up 8 percent from a year ago.
The 11-year-old locally owned bank topped $500 million in assets, up 5 percent for the quarter and up 14 percent from a year ago. “Reaching a half-billion dollars in asset size marks the achievement of a long-term strategic vision for our company,” said David Heald, president and chief executive officer, who’s been with the bank since it opened.Read the full story at www.santacruzsentinel.com