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Saturday, February 23 , 2019, 9:55 pm | Fair 36º


Pacific Capital Bancorp Cuts Workforce by 300 Jobs

Bank cites recession in decision to trim 22% of full-time staff, with 80 positions eliminated immediately

Pacific Capital Bancorp, parent company of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, said Wednesday it would cut its workforce by 300 employees this year, or about 22 percent of its full-time staff. Eighty of the jobs will be eliminated this month, with the remainder gone by July 1, the company said in a statement.

The bank said it would realize annualized savings of about $20 million as a result of the cuts, and that severance costs would amount to between $3 million and $5 million.

“We continue to operate in a very challenging economy for financial services companies,” said George Leis, president and CEO. “Clearly, it would never be my first choice to eliminate positions. However, given the length and depth of the current recession, preserving capital is critical.

“It is our responsibility to identify ways to operate as efficiently as possible, while still providing our customers with outstanding service,” he said.

Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Pacific Capital Bancorp
Shares of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s parent company, Pacific Capital Bancorp, closed at $8.36, prior to the bank’s announcement of job cuts. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

The reductions will be felt company-wide, Leis said, across “all of our markets and in all of our business units.”

The bank’s shares, trading on the NASDAQ under the PCBC stock symbol, closed at $8.36 on Wednesday, up +0.03‎ from the day before but down from a high of $27.99 in the past year. Wednesday’s layoffs were announced after the market had closed for the day.

Pacific Capital Bancorp is the parent company of Pacific Capital Bank N.A., a nationally chartered bank that operates 48 branches in a territory stretching between Ventura and Santa Clara counties. In addition to its flagship Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, the bank’s subsidiaries are First Bank of San Luis Obispo, First National Bank of Central California, San Benito Bank and South Valley National Bank.

— Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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