The Bank of the Sierra branches out into Woodlake


By Mackenzie Carmen
woodlake – The banking subsidiary of Sierra Bancorp, Bank of the Sierra, continues to expand with a new branch acquisition in Woodlake. The corporation announced its agreement with Citizens Business Bank in July. Citizens Business Bank is the banking subsidiary of CVB Financial Corporation.
Bank of the Sierra will acquire the deposits as well as certain assets of the Woodlake branch of Citizens Business Bank. The purchase is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2017, pending regulatory approval. The price tag of the deal was not released.
“Woodlake is a wonderful community with a growing economy and an exciting opportunity for expansion. We welcome the customers of the Woodlake branch into the Bank of the Sierra family, and we are committed to ensuring the transition goes smoothly for them,” said Bank of the Sierra President and CEO Kevin McPhaill. “Customers will enjoy access to Bank of the Sierra’s broad range of financial products and personalized customer service.”
In the past few years, Bank of the Sierra has branched out to various locations across the Central Valley and beyond. They are no longer only rooted in communities close to the Sierra Nevada mountains, where they derive their name from.
In 2014, Sierra Bancorp acquired Santa Clara Valley Bank in the Santa Clara Valley of Southern California for $15.3 million. At the time, James C. Holly, Chief Executive Officer of Sierra Bancorp, commented, “This is an exciting opportunity for Bank of the Sierra. The Santa Clara Valley is a strong agricultural region in close proximity to our primary market, the Southern San Joaquin Valley. The market is very similar to the region we already serve and this opportunity is a natural extension for us.”
Other similar deals transpired over the following years, such as Sierra Bancorp’s $13.8 million deal to acquire Coast Bancorp, the holding company for Coast National Bank. Now, Sierra Bancorp has 34 full-service branches that are located through the southern San Joaquin Valley as well as the neighboring communities along the Central Cost and in Southern California.
Recently, Sierra Bancorp began to acquire banks once again in the foothills area. In 2016, Sierra Bancorp made a similar deal with Citizens Business Bank in Porterville. In that deal, the Bank of the Sierra acquired approximately $22 million in deposits and approximately $1 million in loans from the Porterville bank. There are also branches of the Bank of the Sierra in locations such as Exeter, Lindsay, Farmersville and Three Rivers.
Bank of the Sierra has operated for 40 years, and has become the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. The bank also maintains a loan production office and online branch and offers a specialized lending service through their agricultural credit center, a real estate industry center and a SBA center.