The combined American Riviera Bank and The Bank of Santa Barbara will be known as American Riviera Bank, the merged institution announced Aug. 27.
Santa Barbara-based marketing agency Idea Engineering deemed that the name would have better “brand impact.” The banks proposed the merger in July, which would combine two smaller companies into a three-branch community bank. Combined assets would total more than $400 million.
The all-stock merger, which still needs shareholder and regulatory approval, is planned to close Jan. 1, 2016.
“The decision on naming was not taken lightly,” American Riviera Bank President and CEO Jeff DeVine said in a statement. “Both banks have strong brand loyalty within their client base and are attached to their existing names for good reasons. However, after reviewing the branding study, it was concluded that the ‘new’ American Riviera Bank is a name that best embodies our culture and is a brand that can be further developed over time even with geographic expansion.”
The next steps include submitting applications to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the California Department of Business Oversight. American Riviera Bank and The Bank of Santa Barbara will vote on the merger in October during separate shareholder meetings.
The merged American Riviera Bank will be the second largest community bank based in Santa Barbara with branches in downtown Santa Barbara, Montecito and Goleta. It might expand to Carpinteria or the Santa Ynez Valley, Joanne Funari, interim CEO of the Bank of Santa Barbara and future chief operating officer of the proposed bank, previously told the Business Times.
There would be some job consolidations in 2016 but also growth opportunities, DeVine told the Business Times in April.
The combined bank will offer mortgage and small business lending departments. It will have a legal lending limit of approximately $10 million and a risk-based capital ratio of about 12 percent.