Monday, June 18 , 2018, 12:18 pm | Fair 65º


Local News

Pacific Capital CEO Says It’s ‘Business As Usual’

With a federal deadline looming, parent company of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust fights off a week of bad news and speculation

Officials with Pacific Capital Bancorp (Nasdaq: PCBC), the publicly traded parent company of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, dismissed speculation that the bank would be unable to meet Tuesday’s federal deadline to increase its capital position.

“Our bank is well-capitalized and has ample liquidity,” George Leis, the bank’s president and CEO told the Pacific Coast Business Times on Friday. “We’re the same bank that’s been around since 1960. We’re the same bank that’s been so involved in the community.

“(Federal regulators) may ask us to do additional things internally, but those additional internal things will have no effect on the day-to-day needs of our customers,” he told the newspaper, adding that it will be “business as usual” July 1.

It’s been a rough week for the bank. On Monday, officials announced the suspension of dividend payments. The next day, the bank’s stock price plummeted and DBRS Inc. and Moody’s Investors Service downgraded the bank’s credit ratings to junk grade.

Pacific Capital Bancorp received more than $180 million from the Treasury Department’s Troubled Asset Relief Program in November, and the company announced in April that its loss for the first quarter of 2009 was nearly $8 million. Its net income in the same period last year was $72.5 million.

Deferring interest payments on the $69.4 million of outstanding TARP debt will allow the company to save $8 million per quarter and boost capital ratios, officials said Tuesday. The bank also has suspended payments of cash dividends on outstanding common and preferred stock.

Pacific Capital Bancorp shares closed at $2.26 Friday, down 0.02 from Thursday. Its shares have slumped 84 percent this year, the steepest decline in the 486-member Nasdaq Bank Index.

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

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