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Bank of Santa Clarita going strong

Posted: July 30, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Updated: July 30, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Bank of Santa Clarita has continued to show increased earnings, according to second-quarter results released Thursday.

Net earnings for the second quarter totaled $111,000, compared to $90,000 in the second quarter of 2009.

Additionally, in the first six months of the year, ending June 30, the bank reported net earnings of $271,000 - up from $129,000 in the first six months of 2009.

"It is reflective of our long-term approach to how we've developed and built the bank," bank President and CEO James Hicken said.

The community bank has also seen a boost in deposits, with a total of $131 million at June 30 - up 25 percent from $105 million in June 2009.

"We continue to remain profitable during this difficult economic time and will continue to focus on maintaining the strong liquidity and credit quality that the bank has experienced to date," Hicken said in a Thursday news release. "Our loan portfolio is performing well as evidenced by a very low level of nonaccrual loans, totaling only $49,000 at June 30."

Because of its long-range approach, the bank is in a strong position to provide loans, Hicken said.

He noted that while nearly 60 percent of banks in California are under some sort of regulatory enforcement, Bank of Santa Clarita is not.

The only issue, he added, is finding people to take out loans.

"As a bank, we make the bulk of our income off lending," he said.

While the economy is not getting worse, and it seems to be stabilizing in the Santa Clarita Valley, Hicken expects it to remain sluggish through next spring.

The 6-year-old bank is also moving ahead on opening its fourth branch, to be located at the corner of Magic Mountain Parkway and Citrus Street.

The bank is working with the city's planning department, deciding on a construction company and expects to begin interior construction in late September, Executive Vice President Kim Altobello said.

Altobello and Hicken said the expect the branch will likely be open by early 2011.


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