Shares of Pacific Capital Bancorp, parent of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, soared nearly 25 percent on Oct. 7, as 3 million shares, twice the normal volume, changed hands. Pacific Capital closed at $1.82 on NASDAQ, climbing 35 cents amid ongoing speculation the bank might be close to raising new capital or announcing a merger.
Pacific Capital has been under pressure from regulators to raise capital after a big loss in the second quarter, blamed on rising bad real estate loans. The bank has hired an investment banker to explore strategic options.
Also on Oct. 7, Rabobank, a major competitor, announced it had hired Donald Toussaint, formerly Pacific Capital’s head of commercial lending and wealth management. Toussaint will become market president for Rabobank’s 17-branch South Central Coast region, from Santa Ynez to Westlake Village. Toussaint has 33 years of experience in banking, having held positions with Fleet Financial, Bank of Boston and Security Pacific.
Toussaint will report to Jeff Paul, Rabobank’s Ventura-based executive vice president in charge of community banking. Rabobank, based in the Netherlands, entered the tri-county market through its acquisition of Mid-State Bank & Trust several years ago.