Montecito Bank & Trust on Friday reported that total assets grew $68.1 million during the prior 12-month period, closing at more than $1.3 billion. The increase was driven by continued strong loan growth of $155 million, or 21.5 percent year-over-year, and deposits of $1.2 billion, an increase of 7.34 percent year-over-year.

Net income for the same period grew 28 percent, to $4.6 million, enhanced by a one-time collection of interest on a loan.

The bank’s total risk-based capital remains very strong at 12.7 percent, exceeding the 10 percent regulatory minimum required to be considered well-capitalized.

At its regular meeting on April 18, the bank’s Board of Directors approved the leadership succession plan proposed in early April when founder and board chairman Michael Towbes stepped down. Towbes died April 13 at age 87.

Under the plan, CEO Janet Garufis was appointed board chairwoman and George Leis was appointed president and chief operating officer.

Garufis has been president since 2006, working alongside Towbes to build a community bank with assets exceeding $1.3 billion. Leis joined the bank in June 2016 and has more than 32 years of community banking experience.

In addition, the board also took action to appoint S. Lachlan Hough to the nine-member board as its newest director. Hough has more than 30 years of banking and diversified financial service experience. He is a resident of Santa Barbara County.

“Montecito Bank & Trust has a lot to be proud of, and our beloved founder and mentor Mike Towbes made sure planning and implementation strategies were in place to carry on our strength and independence as a community bank long into the future,” Garufis said.

“We are pleased to welcome Mr. Hough to the board. The board is poised to continue to govern Montecito Bank & Trust as responsible stewards of the oldest and largest, locally owned and managed community bank on the Central Coast.”

Leis expressed his appreciation for the new responsibilities.

“I am honored to serve as president to lead our more than 200 dedicated bank associates,” he said. “We have the clarity of mission and are in a position of strength to continue to serve our customers in ways that only a community bank can.

“Our customers have confidence in our ability to serve their needs, and we will continue to earn that confidence by offering a full complement of banking products, services and unique solutions.”

Montecito Bank & Trust added yet another recognition to the long list of awards for its leading status among community banks. The Western Independent Bankers awarded the 2017 Bank of the Year to Montecito Bank & Trust from among more than 550 independent community banks headquartered in 13 Western states. The bank was honored for its enduring impact in local communities, exceptional bank performance and demonstrated industry innovation. Candidates are nominated and selected by bankers from throughout the West Coast.

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Founded in 1975, the bank celebrated its 42nd anniversary on March 17, and operates 10 branch offices in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura, Camarillo 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; Small Business Administration loans; mortgage loans, consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides comprehensive trust services and full investment management for all branch office markets.

Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2016 Premier Performing Bank designation by The Findley Reports, an independent service that rates the annual performance of California banks. Montecito Bank & Trust has been designated as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank by The Findley Reports 32 times in its 41-year history.

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— Megan Orloff is Montecito Bank & Trust’s senior vice president and director of marketing.