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Santa Cruz County Bank reports strong Q1 earnings

April 19, 2012

By Tom Dunlap - Register-Pajaronian

Santa Cruz County Bank, a locally owned and operated bank, today announced strong earnings for the first quarter ended March 31.

For the three-month period ended March 31, the bank reported a 26 percent increase in total earnings after tax to $573,485, compared to $453,538 for the same period that ended March 31, 2011.

Pretax income increased by $184,286, which is 25 percent, to $911,607, compared to the year-ago quarter. For the same period, net interest income improved by $229,000, which is 8 percent, over the prior year to $3.2 million.

“Our strong, year-over-year growth demonstrates the focus and commitment of our board and management team to enhance shareholder value and the community’s support of our customer service, delivery systems and products," David Heald, the bank's president and CEO stated. "Our business strategy will continue to focus on the needs of the community we serve. Once again we are honored to be recognized by the Findley Reports as a Super Premier Performing Bank for a second consecutive year.”

Shareholders’ equity for the first quarter increased 12 percent to $2.8 million, compared to the year-ago quarter. Earnings per share increased to $0.30 for the quarter, compared to $0.24 for the year-ago quarter.

Other first quarter highlights included.

• The bank was designated as a Super Premier Performing Bank by The Findley Reports for its 2011 performance.

• The bank received a 4-Star “Excellent” rating from Bauer Financial Reports, Inc. for its fourth quarter 2011 performance.

• Harvey Nickelson was appointed to the bank board of directors to replace outgoing director Steve John.

The bank also gained possession of 1547-1549 Pacific Ave. last week, an empty lot in downtown Santa Cruz next to Lulu Carpenter's cafe.

The bank got the land after no one bid at a foreclosure auction last week. The bank set the opening bid at $2,901,677 after the owner, Pacific Garden Place LLC, defaulted on a 2007 loan, owing $3.173 million.

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