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What's New

Bank Announces Completion of Merger; Board Expansion

The Merger of Lighthouse Bank with and into Santa Cruz County Bank closed on October 18, 2019.   

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.

“We are thrilled to announce the completion of our merger with Lighthouse Bank. Today we welcome four talented individuals to our Board, each of whom bring extensive knowledge and experience in community banking. We look forward to serving our community with our expanded team,” said William J. Hansen, Chairman of Santa Cruz County Bank.

“The successful merger of our two top performing and nationally recognized financial institutions positions Santa Cruz County Bank as the largest community bank in the Monterey Bay Area. Our greater scale, expansion into Silicon Valley and plans to expand into the Monterey County, opens opportunities to compete for larger business relationships while meeting the expansion needs of our existing business relationships,” stated David V. Heald, President and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank.

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 well underway. A complete systems conversion is scheduled to take place in early April 2020. For more information is available online on the Santa Cruz County Bank website Merger Information page.

Photo of four new board members

Bank Announces Third Quarter 2019 Earnings

We are pleased to announce unaudited net income for the third quarter of $3.0 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019.  Excluding merger related expenses, net income would have been a record $3.3 million for the third quarter ended September 30, 2019. This represents a 13% increase comparing this quarter with the same quarter in 2018. For the quarter, basic earnings per share increased $0.03 to $1.24, a 2% increase over the third quarter in 2018.  Unaudited net income for the nine month period ended September 30, 2019 was $9.6 million before merger expense and $9.3 million after merger expense, compared to $8.2 million over the same period in 2018. 

Pretax income for the quarter ended September 30, 2019 was $4.4 million, a increase of $240 thousand, 6%, compared to $4.1 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2018.

Third Quarter Financial Highlights:

  • Net interest margin of 4.76%
  • Return on average assets and equity of 1.67% and 15.64%, respectively
  • Well capitalized with a total risk based capital ratio of 16.15%
  • 7% growth in loans, $34 million increase over the third quarter of 2018
  • 7% growth in deposits, $42 million increase over the third quarter of 2018
  • Basic earnings per share increased to $1.24 from $1.21 over the third quarter of 2018
  • Book value per common share after dividends increased by $4.97 or 19%, to $31.69 over the third quarter of 2018

President and CEO David V. Heald commented, “During the third quarter, we successfully received all necessary regulatory and shareholder approvals for our merger with Lighthouse Bank. We accomplished this with the support of our shareholders, founders, board of directors, management and merger team. Our focus is now dedicated to the process of ensuring a seamless integration of our systems and delivery channels for the benefit of our customers.  Combining the financial strength of our top performing banks while expanding the scale of our geographic footprint will allow us to deliver enhanced banking and lending services to our valued customers, added resources for our community and even greater efficiencies for the benefit of our shareholders.”

To view the entire third quarter 2019 press release and for more information on Santa Cruz County Bank’s performance, please visit our Investor Relations page.

3rd Quarter graphic

Shareholders Vote In Favor Of Merger

We are pleased to announce the shareholders of Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank have approved the Agreement and Plan of Reorganization and Merger (the “Agreement”) which was announced on May 28, 2019, whereby Lighthouse Bank will merge with and into Santa Cruz County Bank. In addition to shareholder approval, the Bank has also received all regulatory approvals for the merger which is expected to close on October 18, 2019.

More than 91 percent of shares voted by Lighthouse Bank shareholders were voted in favor of the merger and over 98 percent of shares voted by Santa Cruz County Bank shareholders were voted in favor of the merger.

“The collaborative effort by the Directors, Executive Management, Senior Management and employees, of these two nationally recognized banking institutions, has been phenomenal. We will welcome four experienced Directors, John Burroughs, Stephen Pahl, Craig French and James Weisenstein to join our Board of Directors when the merger closes. Together we are excited to continue serving our local community and enhancing shareholder value,” said William J. Hansen, Chairman of Santa Cruz County Bank.

"We look forward to offering seven full-service banking offices for the convenience of our customers and community. The expansion of our facilities as a result of the merger will provide greater access for our growing customer base, additional space for our employees, and the use of conference rooms for community groups. Since our merger announcement in late May, transition teams at both banks have been working diligently to develop our conversion strategy.  We welcome Lighthouse Bank staff members to our family and look forward to bringing our two banks together to serve our communities as one premier banking institution,” stated David V. Heald, President and CEO of Santa Cruz County Bank.

When the merger transaction is completed, Santa Cruz County Bank’s total assets will increase to nearly $1 billion on a pro forma basis.  Both Lighthouse Bank branches, one in Santa Cruz and one in Cupertino, will remain as full-service branches after the merger is completed, and customers of both banks will have access to a total of seven branches, six in Santa Cruz County and one in Cupertino.

Read the full press release on the Merger Information page.

Shareholders Vote In Favor of Merger

Santa Cruz County Bank Announces Dividend

The Board of Directors of Santa Cruz County Bank is pleased to announce the declaration of a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.075 per share. The dividend is payable on October 10, 2019 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on September 30, 2019. This is the twenty-sixth consecutive quarterly cash dividend declared by the Bank. In addition to cash dividends, a 10% stock dividend was granted to shareholders in November 2017.

Santa Cruz County Bank Announces Dividend

Our New & Improved Website

Welcome to our new website! We hope you enjoy using these exciting new features: the convenience of secure file uploads, at-a-glance menus, search tool for quick navigation and our new Education Center, filled with product demos, educational videos, and important security information. We invite you to stay informed by visiting our  website regularly for information about new product releases, recent news, and much more!

New & improved website

Santa Cruz County Bank is a 5-Star “Superior” Rated Bank

Santa Cruz County Bank is rated a 5-Star “Superior” bank by Bauer Financial, Inc. based upon its financial performance for the quarter ending June 30, 2019. 5-Star is the highest rating determined by Bauer Financial. Bauer Financial has been reporting on and analyzing the performance of U.S. banks and credit unions since 1983. For more information on Bauer Financial, Inc. visit www.bauerfinancial.com.  Santa Cruz County Bank has ranked as a 4-Star “Excellent” and 5-Star “Superior” bank every quarter in the history of our ratings from Bauer Financial.

Santa Cruz County Bank is a 5-Star “Superior” Rated Bank

Merger Announcement

Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank Announce Agreement to Merge

Highlights of Announced Transaction

  • Creates the Monterey Bay Area’s premier community business bank with nearly $1 billion in total assets upon estimated closing date: the largest community bank in the Monterey Bay Area with approximately 12.75% of deposits in Santa Cruz County based on FDIC data as of June 30, 2018.
  • Enhances Santa Cruz County Bank’s community bank dominance in the Monterey Bay Area with expansion into the Silicon Valley and more resources to execute strategic plans and additional growth opportunities.
  • Combined company forms a high-performing franchise with industry recognized earnings, net interest margin and efficiency ratio, while maintaining pristine credit metrics.

Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank announced they have entered into an agreement and plan of reorganization and merger (the “Agreement”), pursuant to which Lighthouse Bank will merge with and into Santa Cruz County Bank in an all-stock transaction valued at approximately $68.87 million or $25.50 per Lighthouse Bank common share as of close of market on May 28,2019. The merger will increase Santa Cruz County Bank’s total assets to nearly $1 billion on a pro forma basis with 7 full service banking offices in Santa Cruz and Santa Clara Counties.

Lighthouse Bank is a full-service community bank headquartered in Santa Cruz with a branch in Cupertino. As of March 31, 2019, Lighthouse Bank had approximately $314 million in total assets and a return on average assets of 1.73% for the first quarter of 2019.

“We are excited to welcome Lighthouse Bank to our company. This merger creates tremendous opportunity for shareholders, employees and customers of both banks, all of whom stand to benefit greatly. The merger offers all shareholders both immediate value and the opportunity to participate in potential upside as the bank generates momentous growth from its market-focused community banking strategy. Planning for the integration of these two banks is in progress and we expect to expeditiously realize the full value of the cost synergies we have identified,” said William Hansen, Chairman of Santa Cruz County Bank.

David Heald, Santa Cruz County Bank President and CEO added, “We are very pleased to welcome Lighthouse Bank’s board members, executives and employees to our team and look forward to their contributions to our combined premier performing institution. Together, we will achieve even greater milestones. We have all worked together in our community for many years and have tremendous mutual respect. Individuals who choose to bank with community driven institutions over the major banks recognize our shared values of community reinvestment, high-touch customer service, and local decision-making. These fundamentals will not change.”

“Lighthouse has long regarded Santa Cruz County Bank and shares similar values, celebrating community and a commitment to excellent customer service and shareholder returns,” remarked John Burroughs, Chairman of Lighthouse Bank.  “We have tremendous respect for the leadership at Santa Cruz County Bank, many of whom are former colleagues,” said Jon Sisk, President of Lighthouse Bank.  “We’re thrilled to come together with their team, and to expand the breadth and depth of service and resources for our customers. The blending of two of the nation’s top-performing banks, each of them founded and headquartered in Santa Cruz, will deliver a premier banking experience for our community.”

The boards of Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank have unanimously approved the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions, including the approvals of state and federal bank regulatory agencies and the shareholders of both Lighthouse and Santa Cruz and other conditions specified in the Agreement. The transaction is expected to close in the third quarter of 2019.

To view the Santa Cruz County Bank and Lighthouse Bank Announce Agreement to Merge press release, click here.

Santa Cruz County Bank & Lighthouse Bank

Top 200 Best Performing Banks

We are thrilled to announce for a sixth consecutive year, Santa Cruz County Bank is ranked in American Banker Magazine’s Top 200 Best Performing Community Banks and Thrifts in the United States. Our Bank ranked 12th out of 601 publicly traded institutions with less than $2 billion in assets in the nationwide ranking. Based upon 3-year average return on equity from 2016-2018, Santa Cruz County Bank also ranked 4th in the state out of a total of 26 California banks in the Top 200 list.

Top 200 Best Performing Banks

Optimal Bank Ranking by Seifried & Brew

We are pleased to announce receipt of ranking as an optimal performer in the prestigious Seifried & Brew 2018 Top 15th Percentile. The Top 15th Percentile represents a select group of high-performing banks that are made up of the best 782 out of 5,213 community banks in the nation. Within the Top 15th, Santa Cruz County Bank ranked at number 267 nationally and ranked 7th in the Top 10 list for the state of California. To receive this rating, Santa Cruz County Bank demonstrated exemplary performance by managing its exposure to risk while maintaining a notable level of reward.

The Top 15th ranking is based on a comparison of the S&B Risk Index and measures of performance. The Risk Index includes an array of risk factors that banks must constantly manage, such as liquidity risk and capital risk. Measures of performance, or reward, are primarily a bank’s return on average assets or return on average equity. S&B measures individual bank performance by determining the balance of risk and reward and then compares banks across the United States. The banks included in this index have assets between $10 million and $30 billion.

Optimal Bank Ranking by Seifried & Brew

Santa Cruz County Bank Voted “Favorite Bank”!

Santa Cruz County Bank received the Santa Cruz Waves 2019 Swellies Award for “Favorite Bank”. Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to all 2019 Swellies Award winners!   

2019 Swellies Award Winner

Super Premier Performing Bank Designation

The Findley Reports, Inc. recently designated Santa Cruz County Bank as a Super Premier Performing Bank for a 9th consecutive year based on 2018 financial performance. For a bank to achieve the Super Premier performance rating it must meet four key performance ratios established by Findley Reports, Inc.. Super Premier is the highest rating level established by Findley Reports, Inc. Santa Cruz County Bank met the four criteria at a high level of performance: growth, return on beginning equity, net operating income as a percentage of average assets and loan losses as a percentage of gross loans. The Findley Reports, Inc. has been recognizing the financial performance of banking institutions in California and the Western United States for over fifty years.  Findley Reports also recognized Santa Cruz County Bank as an exceptional bank in its March 2019 newsletter.  

Super Premier Performing Bank

Top 100 Best Performing Community Banks in the U.S.

For a third consecutive year, Santa Cruz County Bank is one of the Top Best Performing Community Banks in the entire country! We are honored to rank 35th in S&P Global’s Top 100 Best Performing Banks in the U.S out of approximately 3,000 banks under $3 billion in assets, based upon 2018 financial performance.

Top 100 for 2018, 2017, and 2016

Santa Cruz County Bank Voted “Best Bank”!

For a seventh consecutive year, Santa Cruz County Bank received the most votes for “Best Bank” in the Good Times Best Of Santa Cruz County annual poll. Thank you to everyone who voted and congratulations to all the Best Of winners in our community!   

Good Times Best of Santa Cruz 2019

My Business Mobile App

Business doesn’t stop just because you’re away from the office, and some of those important financial decisions simply won’t wait until you get back. Whether it's approving a transfer, making a bill payment or depositing a check, My Business Mobile allows you to manage your business finances on–the–go from almost anywhere your business takes you.

With our new My Business Mobile app, businesses can enjoy mobile access to:

  • View account balances
  • Review recent transactions
  • View check images
  • Transfer funds (ACH, Wire, Loans)
  • Originate Bill Payments
  • Review and Approve: Wire & ACH Transfers, Positive Pay exceptions, Pending Approval Alerts
  • Deposit checks
  • Multifactor authentication for secure login
  • And much more!

Visit our My Business Mobile page for more information and to request activation.
Contact ebanking@sccountybank.com if you have any questions.

Business mobile icon

2018 Business of the Year Award

The Bank is honored to receive the 2018 Business of the Year Award from the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce. We congratulate all the Businesses and Awardees who were chosen for their significant achievements and community leadership. Together, these individuals and businesses make Santa Cruz County a better place to live, work and play.

2018 Business of the Year

Bank receives Al Smith Friend of Agriculture award

Santa Cruz County Bank was recently recognized with the 2018 Al Smith Friend of Agriculture award at the National Agriculture Day Luncheon, presented by the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and Agri-Culture. This award is presented annually to an individual, business, or organization that is not directly involved in the production of agriculture, yet supports the industry in other ways. The Bank has played a role in supporting this important business sector in our community through lending, donations to support agricultural education and volunteerism. 

2018 Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award

© 2019 Santa Cruz County Bank. All rights reserved.

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Santa Cruz County Bank has no control over information at any site hyperlinked to or from this site. Santa Cruz County Bank makes no representation concerning and is not responsible for the quality, content, nature, or reliability of any hyperlinked site and is providing this hyperlink to you only as a convenience. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by Santa Cruz County Bank of any information in any hyperlinked site. In no event shall Santa Cruz County Bank be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site.

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Santa Cruz County Bank has no control over information at any site hyperlinked to or from this site. Santa Cruz County Bank makes no representation concerning and is not responsible for the quality, content, nature, or reliability of any hyperlinked site and is providing this hyperlink to you only as a convenience. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by Santa Cruz County Bank of any information in any hyperlinked site. In no event shall Santa Cruz County Bank be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site.

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Santa Cruz County Bank has no control over information at any site hyperlinked to or from this site. Santa Cruz County Bank makes no representation concerning and is not responsible for the quality, content, nature, or reliability of any hyperlinked site and is providing this hyperlink to you only as a convenience. The inclusion of any hyperlink does not imply any endorsement, investigation, verification or monitoring by Santa Cruz County Bank of any information in any hyperlinked site. In no event shall Santa Cruz County Bank be responsible for your use of a hyperlinked site.

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