“Protecting our customers’ financial privacy and security is an important priority for us at Montecito Bank & Trust,” said Janet Garufis, president and CEO. “When the media first announced the Target store data compromise, our deposit operations associates were already working fast to determine which of our debit and credit card customers were potentially impacted, placing orders for new replacement cards and planning interim processes to help our customers get through their holiday spending needs.
"We contacted these customers to let them know our plans for helping them. One of the major benefits of banking with a local community bank is the personal outreach we can provide to our customers, and our customers really appreciate this extra level of care.
“We have to stay aggressive in monitoring the risks that will inherently come with advancements in technology. We are constantly assessing how to improve the privacy and security oversight of the financial information we have on our customers. We work with our customers on an ongoing basis and having strong relationships with them makes a big difference in monitoring their financial activity, and helping us spot any aberrant transactions.
"We also encourage our customers to actively and routinely monitor their account activity and to let us know immediately if they believe there may be a fraud issue. Our website has financial protection security tips, and given the start of a new year, it’s a good investment of time to review this list. All of us need to be vigilant in looking out for potential financial fraud, and we always tell our customers to call us whenever they have a question or concern. Working together is the best way to minimize these ever-present financial risks.”
Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2012 designation of a Premier Performing Bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the annual financial performance of California banks. The Findley Reports has designated Montecito Bank & Trust as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank 27 times in its 38-year history.
Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the tri-counties. Founded in 1975, with branch offices located in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village, the bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers, including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides full investment management as well as trust services for all branch office markets.
— Andy Silverman is a marketing coordinator for Montecito Bank & Trust.