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Bank of the Sierra announces agreement to purchase Lompoc Branch from Community Bank of Santa Maria

Bank of the Sierra announces agreement to purchase Lompoc Branch from Community Bank of Santa Maria

@TheSunGazette

PORTERVILLE – Bank of the Sierra recently announced plans to acquire another bank, bringing its total to two banks and three branches of two other banks in three years.

On Jan. 23, Sierra Bancorp, the parent company for Bank of the Sierra, announced that it entered into an agreement to purchase the Lompoc branch of Community Bank of Santa Maria, for an estimated $35 million in deposits and certain assets. Bank of the Sierra’s purchase is scheduled for completion in spring 2018, pending regulatory approval.

“We are excited to expand our footprint in Santa Barbara County and provide outstanding financial services to the residents and businesses of the Lompoc area,” said Kevin McPhail, President and CEO of Bank of the Sierra. “Our team is working diligently to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible. Being a good community partner is much more than occupying a building in a city. We strive to support every community we serve, through volunteerism, reinvestment, and charitable giving through our Sierra Grant Program, and we look forward to serving the community of Lompoc.”

Community Bank of Santa Maria is owned by the one-bank holding company of Community Bancorp of Santa Maria, which is traded on the over the counter stock exchange (OTCQX) under the symbol CYSM. Community Bank of Santa Maria opened for business on March 1, 2001, and currently operates three branches; two in Santa Maria, and their division, Lompoc Community Bank, in Lompoc.

Janet Silveria, President and CEO of Community Bank of Santa Maria commented that the transaction is a strategic move for both organizations. “Community Bank of Santa Maria has experienced tremendous growth in loans and deposits in our primary market of Santa Maria.  This move provides us the opportunity to focus all our bank resources on that niche market and improves the overall financial strength of the organization.”

In addition to the Lompoc branch, Bank of the Sierra has acquired two banks in different parts of California as well as two branches of two other banks here in Tulare County. In 2014, Sierra Bancorp acquired Santa Clara Valley Bank in the Santa Clara Valley of Southern California for $15.3 million. In 2016, Sierra Bancorp acquired Coast Bancorp and its three branches in San Luis Obispo County for $13.8 million. Three weeks later, the bank turned its attention closer to home when it bought Citizens Business Bank’s Porterville branch. Last year Sierra Bancorp acquired the Woodlake branch of Citizens Business Bank.

Sierra Bancorp, which trades under the ticker symbol BSRR on the NASDAQ stock exchange, is the largest independent bank headquartered in the South San Joaquin Valley. Now in its 41st year of operations, Bank of the Sierra owns full-service branches located within the counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Los Angeles, Ventura, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara. The bank also maintains an online branch, and provides specialized lending services through an agricultural credit center, a real estate industries center, and an SBA center.

Earlier this month, Bank of the Sierra received a Bauer Financial 5-star rating, an honor only awarded to the strongest financial institutions in the country. For more information visit the bank’s web site at www.bankofthesierra.com.

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