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Montecito Bank & Trust’s First-Quarter Earnings Up 78% Over 2011

Bank continues trend of strong growth and profitability

Montecito Bank & Trust reported Wednesday that its first-quarter profitability was $3.2 million, a 78 percent increase compared with $1.8 million a year ago.

Core performance continued to be strong, growing total assets a robust 10.89 percent from $933.5 million to $1.035 billion year over year. Total deposit growth was also strong, increasing 8.58 percent from $804.6 million to $873.6 million compared with a year ago, a reflection of the growing number of new customer relationships.

Continued weak loan demand left total gross loans virtually flat at $518.5 million, down from $520.4 million. However, due to continued improvement in the performance of the loan portfolio, the provisioning for loan losses was eliminated, which contributed to the growth in profitability. Total risk-based capital of 13.55 percent at quarter end is well above the 10 percent regulatory minimum needed to be considered well-capitalized.

“The bank continues to be exceptionally liquid, and we are eager to meet the financing needs of local businesses and investors with loans for expansion, capital improvement, and the purchase or refinance of real estate,” President/CEO Janet Garufis said. “I am especially pleased to report that Montecito Bank & Trust has been designated as a 2011 Super Premier Performing Bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service that 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 26 times in our 37-year history.”

The bank celebrated its 37th anniversary in March by continuing the 20-year tradition of giving $15,000 to 10 local nonprofits selected by the bank’s employees through its Anniversary GrantsSM program. The Anniversary GrantsSM program, combined with its Community Dividends and a multitude of sponsorships for local nonprofit events are some of the ways Montecito Bank & Trust works to make the communities it serves better places to live and work.

“Accepting local deposits, funding loans to local businesses and reinvesting in the community is the value of community banking,” Garufis said.

Montecito Bank & Trust opened its ninth banking location in a newly constructed full-service branch office in Goleta at Storke and Hollister avenues in February. Javier Quezada, the Hollister branch manager, and his team are extending the bank’s presence in the Goleta market and positioning the bank to better serve the needs of the community.

“We are proud to contribute new job growth and to expand the banking choices for residents and businesses in the Goleta Valley,” Garufis said. “As the Goleta Valley continues to experience economic improvement, Montecito Bank & Trust will be there to help finance that growth.

“In addition to our growth and strong financial performance, we significantly expanded the Wealth Management Division in the first quarter, welcoming three experienced and respected wealth advisors to our Wealth Management business: Jeff Pittman, director of Wealth Management, Peter Madlem, chief investment officer, and David MacCulloch, senior trust officer. Continuing to expand our Wealth Management Division’s product and service offerings as well as local investment management expertise positions Montecito Bank & Trust as among the best in class wealth managers in the region.”

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is a locally owned community bank 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, with locations in Montecito, Solvang and Ventura, provides full investment management as well as trust services for all branch office markets.

— Carolyn Tulloh is director of marketing for Montecito Bank & Trust.

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