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Santa Cruz County Bank Named Industry Top Performer in National Community Bank Rankings
ICBA Independent Banker, published by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) has recognized the Bank as an ICBA industry top performer in its May issue. Santa Cruz County Bank’s recognition is based on the strength of its competitive banking services and operational efficiencies throughout 2015, which resulted in its rank of 22nd for return on average equity of 13.15%.
“Santa Cruz County Bank is delighted to be recognized as an ICBA top performer,” said David V. Heald, president and CEO. “As a proud member of the Santa Cruz County community, we credit our loyal, local customers and dedicated employees for our success. We look forward to serving the unique needs of our community and helping it grow and prosper in the years to come.”
“Whether serving rural, suburban or large metropolitan areas, community banks operate with a focus on their customers and communities,” said Chris Lorence, ICBA’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer. “Santa Cruz County Bank knows their local market and thrives because they stay true to the principles of community banking while showcasing drive, ingenuity and community commitment. Santa Cruz County Bank demonstrates integrity, enthusiasm and inventiveness in the financial industry, and for that reason ICBA is proud to recognize this community bank and its employees for their outstanding efforts.”
This year’s ICBA top-performers rankings underscore the importance of focusing on serving customers and communities, first and foremost. Delivering superior service, following disciplined pricing models, and supporting their local communities and neighborhoods are trends among those community banks recognized within the rankings. These community banks featured stick to well-known industry fundamentals, while embracing the changing industry landscape.
As part of its annual performance rankings of its member institutions, ICBA pulled year-end FDIC call report earnings data to identify the 25 community banks with the highest return on average assets (ROAA) and return on average equity (ROAE) ratios for all of 2015. Both Subchapter C corporation and Subchapter S corporation institutions in six asset-size categories were recognized.
To see this year’s ICBA top-performers listings, read the article “The Best of the Best” on ICBA Independent Banker’s website at www.independentbanker.org.
Top 200 Best Performing Banks
We are thrilled to announce for a third consecutive year, Santa Cruz County Bank has ranked in American Banker Magazine’s Top 200 Best Performing Community Banks and Thrifts in the United States. Our Bank ranked 44th out of 684 institutions with less than $2 billion in assets that were included in the nationwide ranking. The ranking, based upon 3-year average return on equity from 2013-2015, also places Santa Cruz County Bank 5th California out of a total of 18 California banks that made the Top 200 list.
Santa Cruz County Bank Reports First Quarter 2016 Earnings
The Bank reported unaudited net income for the quarter ended March 31, 2016 of $1.5 million or $0.69 basic earnings per share. Comparing the quarter ended March 31, 2016 to March 31, 2015, total deposits increased $44 million, 10% to $472 million; gross loans increased $46 million, 14% to $375 million; and total assets increased $50 million, 11% to $525 million.
President and CEO David V. Heald commented, “We are extremely pleased with our first quarter results. Continued top financial performance is the consequence of cumulative years of Board and Management focus on building our bank to meet and exceed financial objectives centered on shareholder value. Successful achievement of these objectives ensures we meet the criteria to be named Super Premier Performing Bank, which we’ve accomplished for a sixth consecutive year.”
Read the Santa Cruz Sentinel article about the Bank’s quarter ended March 31, 2015 earnings.
For more information about Santa Cruz County Bank’s financial performance, please visit our Investor Relations page, which includes quarterly and annual financial reports dating back to 2004.
Super Premier Performing Bank Designation
The Findley Reports, Inc. recently designated Santa Cruz County Bank as a Super Premier Performing Bank for a sixth consecutive year based on 2015 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 named Santa Cruz County Bank as one of 11 “exceptional banks” in California in 2012.
Santa Cruz County Bank receives United Way Corporate Spirit Award
The United Way of Santa Cruz County has honored Santa Cruz County Bank with the Community Builder Corporate Spirit Award. This award recognizes the Bank’s development of successful strategies that encourage employees to give, advocate, volunteer and promote United Way-led community solutions. United Way of Santa Cruz County states, "Santa Cruz County Bank is being recognized for its longstanding partnership with the United Way through its workplace campaign efforts, service on the United Way board, involvement in the Emerging Leaders Circle, and participation in volunteer efforts such as Make A Difference Day and Stuff the Bus."
The Bank dedicates this award to its employees, who are tireless community champions. Thank you Team SCCB! To read more about the Bank's community involvement, click here.
Santa Cruz County Bank Earns Top Performance Rankings in California
Santa Cruz County Bank was recently named the top bank for asset quality and non-performing assets and second in California for Overall Bank Performance in 2015 by FMC. Financial Management Consulting (FMC) Group ranks all 185 California banks on a quarterly and annual basis based on a variety of factors including: margin, efficiency, asset quality and earnings. This is the second consecutive year Santa Cruz County Bank has ranked in FMC’s Top Ten for annual performance.
Santa Cruz County Bank was ranked 1st for lowest non-performing assets and 1st in asset quality compared to all other California banks. Overall Bank Performance is compiled from each bank’s performance in categories such as return on equity, return on assets, asset quality, efficiency, non-interest expense, non-interest income and net interest income.
Santa Cruz County Bank President and CEO David Heald stated, “We are very pleased to be recognized as a top performer for the hard work and dedication of our Management and employees. We pride ourselves on consistent top tier performance, with a focus on our community and building shareholder returns.”
Timothy Finn, President of FMC stated, “We measure eight (8) different metrics to determine overall performance rankings. For a Bank to be ranked in the top ten in the State means they do everything well, not just one or two things.”
FMC -Financial Management Consulting Group, based in Kentucky is a 28 year old firm that provides consulting and reporting for financial institutions throughout the United States.
For the complete list of Top Ten FMC rankings, visit www.fmcgrp.com/performance-reports.html and click on the State of California.
Santa Cruz County Bank Voted “Best Bank”!
The votes are in! Once again Santa Cruz County Bank was voted “Best Bank” in the annual Best of Santa Cruz County Good Times Readers’ Poll. Thank you to all Good Times readers and customers who cast their vote for us! The results mirror our mission to be the community’s bank of choice.
Santa Cruz County Bank is a 4-Star "Excellent" Rated Bank
Santa Cruz County Bank is rated a 4-Star “Excellent” bank by Bauer Financial, Inc. based upon its financial performance for the quarter ending December 31, 2015. 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.
SCCB Wins Best Bank Vote by Sentinel Readers
Once again, Sentinel readers have voted Santa Cruz County Bank as the “Best Bank” in Santa Cruz County. We are honored to receive this vote of confidence and appreciate the priviledge of serving our community for the past 12 years.
Santa Cruz County Bank Named to 2016 OTCQX Best 50
Santa Cruz County Bank has been named to the 2016 OTCQX® Best 50, a ranking of top performing companies traded on the OTCQX Best Market last year.
The OTCQX Best 50 is an annual ranking of the top 50 U.S. and international companies traded on the OTCQX market. The ranking is calculated based on an equal weighting of one-year total return and average daily dollar volume growth in the previous calendar year. Companies in the 2016 OTCQX Best 50 were ranked based on 2015 stock performance.
Santa Cruz County Bank President and CEO David Heald stated, “Compared to 425 U.S. and international companies, Santa Cruz County Bank ranked 26th among the Best 50 performing companies with a return of 34.45% to shareholders in 2015. Our ranking confirms the Bank’s continued strong financial performance and commitment to building shareholder value.”
The OTCQX Best Market offers the best informed and most efficient trading for established, investor-focused U.S. and international companies. To qualify for OTCQX, companies must meet high financial standards, demonstrate compliance with U.S. securities laws, be current in their disclosure and be sponsored by a professional third-party advisor. OTCQX companies are distinguished by the excellence of their operations and diligence with which they convey their qualifications.
To view the 2016 OTCQX Best 50 Companies, click here.
Celebrating 12 Years Serving Santa Cruz County
To commemorate our 12th year serving Santa Cruz County, we invite our community – customers, founders, directors, shareholders, and community partners to join us for a week-long celebration. Come in to any of our five banking locations for Customer Appreciation celebration week from February 1 – 5, 2016. We thank you for supporting our vision to be the local community bank of choice.
Angelo DeBernardo, Jr. Promoted to Chief Lending Officer
Santa Cruz County Bank has promoted Angelo DeBernardo, Jr. to Chief Lending Officer. Mr. DeBernardo joined the Bank at inception in February 2004 as Vice President and Senior Business Lender. Early in his tenure with the Bank and within a year of its opening, he was responsible for administering the Bank’s SBA lending program. Under his leadership, the Bank achieved Preferred Lender Status from the U.S. Small Business Administration for the San Francisco and Fresno District Offices. In 2006, he was appointed Senior Vice President and Senior Lending Officer and serves on the Bank’s Senior Management team.
Mr. DeBernardo has over 26 years of financial experience, including over seven years as Vice President and Commercial Team Leader of Heritage Bank of Commerce in San Jose, where his market focus extended across the greater Bay Area. He also spent seven years employed with Pacific Western Bank/Comerica Bank in both Santa Cruz County and San Jose.
Mr. DeBernardo is a graduate of San Jose State University, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, Concentration in Accounting. He is also a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS), a National Graduate School of Banking at the University of Washington in Bellevue, Washington, where he has been an instructor for the past nine years.
An active leader in the community, Mr. DeBernardo is an Emeritus Director of the Dominican Hospital Foundation, a member of Santa Cruz Rotary, co-chair of the Santa Cruz Chapter of Attorneys, Bankers & CPAs (ABC), and has dedicated many years of commitment to local youth organizations and educational fundraising. He has been a resident of Santa Cruz County for 26 years where he lives with his wife and three children.
Thank you for helping us fill the buses!
Thanks to our generous community, Santa Cruz County Bank, the United Way of Santa Cruz County and the Santa Cruz Office of Education collected backpacks and school supplies to support local children returning to school. This effort ensured students with the greatest need returned to school well equipped with essential supplies for their continued education. Pop-up school buses were displayed at Santa Cruz County Bank branches to collect donated items throughout the month of July. On August 8th, Santa Cruz County Bank employees joined community volunteers to fill backpacks with school supplies and stuff the yellow school bus!
George Harrison joins as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer
Santa Cruz County Bank is pleased to announce George Harrison will join the bank as Senior Vice President and Chief Credit Officer, effective June 29, 2015.
Mr. Harrison has an extensive education and professional background in finance, lending, credit administration and credit review, and has held the title of Chief Credit Officer and Senior Loan Officer for four independent community banks in Northern California. Most recently, Mr. Harrison was Chief Credit Officer for the past three years for Community Bank of the Bay where he managed a diverse loan portfolio, supervised lending and credit administration, and supervised the growth of the loan portfolio while maintaining strong credit quality.
Early in his career, with Lloyds Bank, Mr. Harrison established himself as a proficient manager and commercial banker with strong analytical skills. With his comprehensive understanding of banking, he accelerated through the ranks in commercial banking and lending to Chief Credit Officer. Later, he established Restuccia & Harrison, the largest independent loan review and examination firm in Northern California, where he spent ten years as a General Partner. In 2010, he launched The Harrison Financial Group, an independent bank consulting and credit review firm.
Mr. Harrison obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the University of Utah, and graduated from the American Bankers Association’s Commercial Lending Graduate School in Oklahoma.
Commenting on his new appointment, Mr. Harrison stated, “Santa Cruz County Bank is well known in the industry as a well-managed bank with exceptional financial ratings. I am extremely honored to become part of the bank’s experienced management team and I look forward to contributing to its continued growth and future successes.”
The Bank’s Chief Credit Officer position was previously held by Geoffrey Loftus, who passed away in January 2015.
David Heald, President and CEO commented, “George brings a well-rounded and unique background to the Chief Credit Officer position though his experience managing credit portfolios and his understanding of credit risk and loan reviews. His experience managing credit portfolios and understanding of credit risk are essential to his position and are an asset to the Bank. We look forward to George’s contributions to the Bank and to our community in the years ahead.”
Mr. Harrison will be based out of the Bank’s Administrative headquarters in Santa Cruz.
Promotion of Heather La Fontaine
Santa Cruz County Bank has promoted Heather La Fontaine to Chief Administrative Officer. Ms. La Fontaine joined the Bank in 2006 as Risk Management Officer and has been responsible for administering the Bank’s Human Resources, Compliance and Risk Management programs. Since joining the Bank she has been appointed Senior Vice President, and during her tenure, has served as its Enterprise Risk Manager, holding Officer positions responsible for Regulatory Compliance, BSA/AML, OFAC/FinCEN, S.A.F.E. Act, CRA and Human Resources management.
In her new position as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Ms. La Fontaine will continue to manage Human Resources, Risk Management, Compliance and Legal matters with added responsibilities for Central Operations, eBanking and Branch Operations.
In addition to her Business Administration degree with honors in Finance and Psychology attained at California State University, Stanislaus, Ms. La Fontaine took graduate courses in substantive law application, criminal law, torts and contract law at Lincoln School of Law. Most recently, she is a graduate of Pacific Coast Banking School (PCBS), a National Graduate School of Banking at the University of Washington in Bellevue, Washington and a graduate of the ABA National Compliance School. Ms. La Fontaine has over 18 years of banking experience.
Ms. La Fontaine was born in Santa Cruz and now lives in the Santa Cruz mountains with her husband and two children.
Ventura D. León joins as Vice President and Branch Administrator
Santa Cruz County Bank is pleased to welcome well-known local banker, Ventura D. León, as Vice President and Branch Administrator.
In his 38 year banking career, Mr. León has established himself as a professional leader in the banking industry for branch operations, employee development, training and overseeing sales. His professional background includes Vice President and Branch Manager for Wells Fargo Bank’s Santa Cruz and Pajaro Valley offices from 1996-2012 and most recently as Branch Manager for U.S. Bank in Scotts Valley and Santa Cruz.
“I am very excited to work for a local community Bank that is actively engaged and committed to community outreach on an ongoing basis. Santa Cruz County Bank is well respected for its outstanding financial performance and ratings and I’m honored to be a part of it,” stated Mr. León.
David Heald, President and CEO commented, “Ventura is a well-known and respected banker in our community. He has built a reputation for developing loyal client relationships through his outstanding customer service. We look forward to his contributions to our bank and our community in the years ahead.”
Mr. León is a past board member of the California Grey Bears and Dientes Community Dental Clinic and a prior Rotarian for Santa Cruz and Watsonville Rotary clubs.
Mr. León is based out of the Bank’s Aptos office at 7775 Soquel Drive.
Be The Difference Award
One important mission for Santa Cruz County Bank is to offer continued support for our community. We are proud to provide volunteers, fundraising efforts and sponsorships throughout the county for various events. For more information regarding our community involvement visit our Community Involvement page.
In October, Santa Cruz County Bank received the 2013 Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz “Be The Difference” Business Award for leadership and volunteer efforts. We attribute the achievement to all of our employees, our Management team members and our Board of Directors, who are all actively engaged in reinvesting in our community.
Read the full story about Be The Difference Award recipients, nominees, groups, individuals and businesses, including Santa Cruz County Bank.
To view our Be The Difference Award Video, which includes a thank you to all of our Board of Directors and employees, click here
Green Minded Businesses
Meet some of the Green Minded Businesses that bank with us! We're pleased to have relationships with local businesses that have made a commitment to environmental practices. If you're a green minded business that would like to bank with Santa Cruz County Bank, let us know!