Santa Cruz County Bank In The News
Everyone loves to hate the big banks these days. So much so that a national movement called Move Your Money, which encourages individuals to take their money out of our nation’s biggest banks and place it with community banks and credit unions, has enjoyed a groundswell of support since it came out a month ago. Even local banks have noticed.
“We’ve seen the number of accounts [go up] as a result of Move Your Money,” says Mary Anne Carson, marketing director for Santa Cruz County Bank. “It is really making a difference for us, and I think people can feel good about the fact that their funds are going to local banks that will be reinvested in their community’s economy.”
Fourth-quarter earnings improved at Santa Cruz County Bank compared to the third quarter, generating a year-end profit of $203,000. That represents a solid increase over 2008, when year-end profit was $17,000.
However, earnings at the 6-year-old locally owned bank have not rebounded to pre-recession levels.
Net income for the fourth quarter was $71,000 compared to $218,000 in that quarter in 2008. The decrease was due to a $450,000 increase in provision for loan losses.
The New Rules Project, in partnership with HuffPost's Move Your Money campaign, is using its Community Banking Initiative to get out the word that banking locally can put the power back in the hands of individuals and communities, rather than Wall Street's CEOs.
As more of us ditch the big banks in favor local banks and credit unions, we need to give thought to both the saving and lending sides of a bank. Each is crucial.
On the savings side, community-based financial institutions need our deposits much more than the big banks do. Big banks have access to other capital. While deposits account for 82% of the funds small banks have to work with, their share at the biggest banks is just 66% (and deposits made in the U.S. account for even less: just 39%).
Magazine honors local bank Santa Cruz County Bank received an honorable mention in the Western Banking magazine's 2009 Green Leaf Awards. The locally owned bank's environmental practices include remodeling its Santa Cruz office to meet the U.S. Green Building Council's standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification and securing certification of all seven offices from the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program.Read the full story
The third-quarter profit at locally owned Santa Cruz County Bank was smaller than in the second quarter, but it was a big improvement compared to a year ago, when the bank bumped up its reserve for loan losses.
Net income after taxes totaled $42,872, down from $66,243 in the second quarter, and up from a loss of $580,620 in the third quarter of 2008 when the stock market sank.
Local wave rider encourages Santa Cruz to bank locally, save the world
Clad in a T-shirt, shorts and sandals, Kyle Thiermann is the kind of guy one might expect to run into on Pacific Avenue. His sun-bleached, sandy hair and quintessential Santa Cruz demeanor make even more sense when he reveals that he is a professional surfer. At 19 years old, it seems that a person in his position would have few worries outside of hitting Steamer Lane and devouring Zoccoli’s chicken pesto sandwiches (his favorite). But behind Thiermann’s blue eyes there lies a worldly passion, which extends far beyond the exhilaration of catching a perfect set down at Pleasure Point.
Santa Cruz County Bank reported Tuesday that loans, assets and deposits have all climbed from a year ago in the second quarter despite continued challenges in the economy. But, while net income nearly tripled from the previous quarter, it dropped from a year ago in the same quarter.
"The bank continues to progress positively in a particularly precarious time," said David Heald, chief executive officer and president. "We continue to grow our bank's balance sheet organically through core deposits and new relationships."
Although some big banks plan to stop cashing state IOUs after today, locally owned banks and credit unions say they will continue to accept warrants.
That's a relief for Community Bridges, a local nonprofit that expects about $500,000 in state IOUs this month to operate Meals on Wheels and four child care centers.
"That represents about 15 percent of the total budget for those two programs," said Sam Storey, executive director of Community Bridges. "As each month passes without a state budget, that amount and the percentage will increase. Fortunately, two local banks, Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank, have let us know that they are willing to cash in the warrants."
About 70 shareholders of Santa Cruz County Bank gathered for the annual meeting Wednesday at Peachwood's to hear how the five-year-old locally owned bank is faring.
David Heald, president and chief executive officer, presented some reassuring statistics:
Deposits topped $214 million in the first quarter.
The bank ended 2008 in the black by $17,000, earning recognition from the independent Findley Reports as the best bank of its size.
Santa Cruz County Bank stayed in the black for the first quarter, but the recession cut into profit.
Net income before taxes was $38,773, down 90 percent from the fourth quarter, when it was $376,000
Net interest income was $2.3 million, down 6 percent from the fourth quarter. Bank officials said higher interest-earning assets declined due to a decline in loans.