LOS ANGELES, CA- California’s newest bank opened for business this month, bringing 70 years of experience to the communities in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. Banc of California (BANC) has about 70 branches in the western United States, with 60 in the Golden State and more than 30 locations in Southern California.
“We’re a full-service bank that serves small business owners, entrepreneurs and their families and employees,” said CEO Steven A. Sugarman. ”We have products that are designed to eliminate complexity in their banking lives and to provide them with very high quality concierge service.”
Banc of California, Inc., is a NASDAQ-traded company formed through the merger of four well-known regional banks, and can trace its roots back to a credit union founded in 1941. Every member of the executive team has personal experience in starting and operating a business; the bank is among the top 100 Small Business Administration lenders in the nation.
“One of the distinctive factors of our bank is we have an entrepreneurial spirit and are accustomed to more innovative thinking, because the people who head our most important business units are entrepreneurs themselves and have started their very own business,” said Sugarman.
“Our company had previously owned two separate banks, and had acquired two other banks over the last year. We’ve relaunched as a consolidation of all four banking franchises to become what I believe is the largest regional bank in California,” Sugarman explained.
The merger combined the resources and branch locations of Pacific Trust Bank, with its strong residential lending group; The Private Bank of California, which focused on private banking; Beach Business Bank, a commercial business bank located in Manhattan Beach, Long Beach and Costa Mesa; and Gateway Bank, with about two dozen locations across the western U.S. focused mainly on home loans.
“Bringing those four franchises together has allowed us to be a full-service banking platform, where we can meet commercial banking needs, community banking needs and private banking needs. We lend money in residential lending, commercial real estate, business loans, small business [SBA] loans, and investment properties,” Sugarman said, explaining that the new bank has assets of $3.5 billion and currently serves about 18,000 customers, with 1,400 employees primarily in Southern California.
“We’re the largest bank serving Southern California that’s under $20 billion in size. Once banks get to a certain size, it’s hard to personalize the relationship and really cater to the custom needs of small business owners and CEOs. We’re able to do that. We’ve got a lending limit that’s over $50 million. We’re large enough that we can meet their needs but we’re still small enough that we can treat them well and provide personal service,” he continued. “Relative to the size of our bank, we lend more money than any other bank in California. It’s because we’re looking to finance small businesses, entrepreneurs and homeowners. We’ll be lending about $5 billion to borrowers this year, and are a top lender to small businesses.”
Streamlining the banking process and offering financial products that help simplify customers’ lives is a main goal of the new enterprise.
“We have products that are fair and we have a team that’s been serving these communities for 70 years,” Sugarman explained. “Our focus for depositors is an emphasis on simplifying their financial life. We’ve launched an account that’s been very successful: the One Account is a single checking account that enables you to get an attractive rate of interest and just one bank statement. We don’t force people to have a checking, savings, overdraft account, and buy CDs in order to be treated fairly and get reasonable interest rates.”
The new “Pick The Day CD” is another product aimed at helping clients get the most for their money.
“You can tell us any day, at any point in the future, and that’s the day your CD will mature,” Sugarman explained, “so if you have college tuition coming up, you don’t need to have your CD mature 15 days before, and lose interest for those last two weeks. You can just pick the exact day you want your interest to be paid.”
For more information on Banc of California, visit bancofcal.com.