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Business

Montecito Bank & Trust Reports Strength, Growth and Profitability in 2013

Janet Garufis, president and chief executive officer of Montecito Bank & Trust, on Tuesday announced the bank’s 2013 performance.

“2013 represented another strong year for Montecito Bank & Trust with growth in all financial categories," Garufis said.

Net profit for the year resulted in a .33 percent increase to $13.2 million compared with $13.1 million in 2012 even in the face of continued pressure on net interest margin experienced within the industry. Total gross loans grew from $524.1 million to $534.2 million, up almost 2 percent year over year. Total deposits grew 3 percent from $921.6 million to $951.8 million while total assets reached $1.07 billion. Total risk-based capital was very strong, ending the year at 14.13 percent, well above the 10 percent regulatory minimum required to be considered well-capitalized.

“Top line performance continues to be strong, but a closer look at our financial performance reveals the real strength of the bank," Garufis said. "We booked more new loans with higher total commitment dollars than any previous year in our bank history. It was also a record-breaking year for our Wealth Management Division with $93 million in new assets under management."

The bank's nine branches welcomed many new customers in 2013. During the year, new household relationships were up 67 percent over new households in 2012.

"As the oldest locally owned community bank in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, it is rewarding to see we have continued to garner the support and trust of so many local residents and business owners," Garufis said. "Possibly one of the biggest highlights of the year was our recognition as the 'Best Bank in Town' by The Independent’s Reader’s Poll, an award we are tremendously proud to receive. Our associates work hard for our customers every day, and I’m confident we will earn a similar level of community support in 2014.”

Continuing the bank’s commitment to giving back to the communities it serves, Garufis also noted that “we celebrated our 11th annual Community Dividends event, contributing $1 million to 164 nonprofits throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. The event was created for the sole purpose of ‘investing in the community,’ and as Mr. Towbes frequently notes in his annual remarks, ‘the hope of encouraging others to follow suit.’

"Over the last 11 years, we have invested more than $11 million in our nonprofit community partners. Community Dividends combined with our Anniversary Grants program and a multitude of sponsorships for local nonprofit events are some of the ways Montecito Bank & Trust works to make our communities 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.”

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 the director of marketing for Montecito Bank & Trust.

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