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County Bank deposits increase

April 27, 2005

The following is an article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel

County Bank deposits increase By GWEN MICKELSON Sentinel staff writer SANTA CRUZ — Santa Cruz County Bank reported a 43 percent increase in deposits compared with the previous quarter in its first-quarter 2005 results. The quarter, said John Rossell, president and chief executive officer, "was excellent. Those don’t come along all the time. It’s just a great way to start the new year." He noted that deposits may have experienced "somewhat of a temporary buildup relating to tax payments." Total deposits were up $14.6 million in the locally owned bank’s first quarter, ended March 31. The bank has been in operation for about 14 months. Financial highlights for the first quarter 2005 compared with the bank’s fourth quarter 2004, ended Dec. 31, were: Total deposits increased $14.6 million to $48.4 million. Total loans increased $5.2 million to $37.7 million. Total assets increased $14.3 million to $59.2 million. Advertisement The bank’s operating loss for the quarter was $346,838, a 10 percent improvement over the loss of the year-ago quarter of $384,442, but more than the previous quarter’s loss of $317,132. "That relates to the fact that we built a new office in Watsonville," said Rossell, referring to the bank’s third branch opened in February. The bank also opened a Scotts Valley branch in November. "Our loss went down on a monthly basis from February of 2004 until November of 2004, when we opened Scotts Valley, and then the loss widened again, and then it widened further in February." Based on typical patterns, new banks need to be at about $100 million in total assets to break-even, said Rossell, which historically has taken most banks about two years. Small Business Administration lending became more active during the quarter, said Rossell, since the bank was awarded Preferred Lender status by the SBA in March. The designation allows the bank to make most decisions to grant SBA- guaranteed loans without prior review by the administration. The quarter’s main accomplishment, said Rossell, was opening the Watsonville office. "We’ve put most of the infrastructure in place to build a good bank, and from here it’s just a matter of going out and finding new customers," he said. Santa Cruz County Bank opened Feb. 3, 2004, shortly after the close of its initial public stock offering. Santa Cruz County Bank’s common stock is listed on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board under the ticker SCZC.OB. Shares closed at $17 on its last trade April 20, no change from the previous close. The 52-week range is $13.90-$21.

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