Third quarter results on the banking front hint at a long-awaited turnaround in the region’s financial services industry.
Pacific Capital Bancorp., the region’s largest banking institution, posted a profit for the month of September after getting a $500 million infusion from the Ford Financial group out of Texas. The bank has essentially got a new balance sheet, which executives say will allow it to make new loans after years of shrinking.
Heritage Oaks, the region’s No. 3 banking company, had a loss related to its capital raise over the summer, but non-performing loans are dropping and the core bank is getting much closer to break-even.
First California Financial, a big winner in the banking meltdown, bought a failed bank in Woodland Hills that will help fill in its footprint in the San Fernando Valley.
Revitalizing the banking enterprises in our area is the first step toward recovery. The next step, a recovery in commercial and residential real estate values, may take a bit longer.