Wednesday, February 10 , 2016, 12:48 am | Fair 50º

Employees of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Receive Layoff Notices

About 470 employees to lose their jobs; parent company Pacific Capital Bancorp's merger with Union Bank is nearing completion

Union Bank Vice Chairman Tim Wennes, left, and Pacific Capital President George Leis announce the banks’ $1.51 billion merger at a news conference on March 12 at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.
Union Bank Vice Chairman Tim Wennes, left, and Pacific Capital President George Leis announce the banks’ $1.51 billion merger at a news conference on March 12 at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.  (Alex Kacik / Noozhawk file photo)

By Lara Cooper, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @laraanncooper | updated logo |

About half of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust employees will lose their jobs over the next twelve months as a result of the company’s purchase by Union Bank, which will merge the workforces of the two companies.

About 470 positions will be eliminated over the course of the next 12 months, according to Dan Weidman, Union Bank spokesman.

Union Bank will retain 570 SBBT employees, including most customer-facing positions across the bank, and 80 percent of those whose positions have been eliminated will not depart the bank until at least April 30, 2013, Weidman said.

He added that Union Bank has 175 open positions from Los Angeles to San Jose for which impacted employees can apply.

SBBT’s parent company, Pacific Capital Bancorp, was purchased by Union Bank, the primary subsidiary of San Francisco-based UnionBanCal Corp., earlier this year for $1.5 billion. 

Saturday is the date UnionBanCal anticipates a legal closing date for the transaction.

Yesterday, SBBT officials confirmed the layoffs, but could not be specific about the number of jobs lost.

“Employees are being notified of their employee status throughout the state this week,” said Debbie Whiteley, vice president of public affairs for Pacific Capital Bancorp, SBBT’s parent company.

Weidman told Noozhawk earlier this month that he couldn’t speak to which Santa Barbara Bank & Trust employees would keep their jobs in the merger.

“When two banks merge and combine their operations, there is almost always duplication of employee positions,” Weidman said. “Decisions regarding employees will be made very carefully and in consultation with Santa Barbara Bank & Trust management. However, at this time it would be premature to talk about employment status.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

» on 11.29.12 @ 08:47 PM

Not the wonderful local bank it used to be… AT ALL.  A shell of its former self.

» on 11.29.12 @ 09:33 PM

Hmmmmm…...i am thinking that i will be moving my account from sbbt.

» on 11.30.12 @ 01:25 AM

Is Scrooge working at SBBT/Union?

» on 11.30.12 @ 02:23 PM

With all the other choices of banks in this town, local and national, why, why, why in the world would anybody choose to patronize this dog?

» on 11.30.12 @ 05:07 PM

I work at the bank.  SBBT customers should actually gain a lot from the acquisition.  More ATMs, More walk-in locations, better online experience, extended customer service hours, etc.

» on 11.30.12 @ 05:48 PM

Guess what. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust (now Union Bank) isn’t any more “scrooge-like” than Hostess! They are in business to make money…not lose money. Being effective and productive is essential in today’s economy. Would you rather the whole company closed and 100% of the staff was laid off? And bankers are not the devil incarnate. SBB&T has done so much to help nonprofits in this community and I’m sure Union Bank will continue in that tradition.

» on 11.30.12 @ 06:01 PM

I think it’s unfair to characterize Union bank when you know nothing about them. However, when the largest portion of your economy’s activity is in mergers and acquisitions then you can expect this kind of outcome. The recent closure of Hostess is another good example, more money spent on acquisitions than upgrading the company.

This has become the baby boom legacy, build nothing, produce nothing and line your pockets liquidating what your great grandparents built. It is the same selfish, shallow, self absorbed, narcissistic, live for today and screw others for your own benefit that drives the welfare class, unions and big nanny governments. No difference between them and Wall Street looters, banksters, pirates and gamblers.

If you want to know who to blame, go look in the mirror. We wanted it, we vote for it and we support it in everything we do.

» on 12.01.12 @ 10:46 PM

an50! You are so right!!! Can you explain it for those who do not get it!!! Thanks…

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