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Community West Bank opens loan office in San Luis Obispo

By   /   Thursday, September 17th, 2015  /   Comments Off on Community West Bank opens loan office in San Luis Obispo

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Goleta-based Community West Bank opened a new loan production office in San Luis Obispo, the company announced Sept. 17.

The bank snatched up area expertise when it hired Bill Filippin in May as the executive vice president. Filippin previously worked with San Luis Obispo-based Heritage Oaks Bank (and Mission Community Bank until it was merged into Heritage in 2014) since 2009.

“With more than 20 years of executive level experience in San Luis Obispo County, Bill brings significant commercial banking expertise and provides additional capabilities and depth to our executive team as we develop our plans for future growth and expansion,” Community West President and CEO Martin Plourd said in a news release. “Bill’s successful career and local market knowledge make him a valuable asset to our bank. We are very excited to be part of the San Luis Obispo County community and offer our banking services to this new market. This loan production office is just the first step of our San Luis Obispo County expansion as we continue to look for ways to grow our footprint along the Central Coast.”

In June, the company also announced that James Lokey was appointed to its board of directors. Lokey has more than 42 years of bank management experience and ties to San Luis Obispo County.

“This new regional loan production office further expands our network and presence in San Luis Obispo County,” Plourd said. “With low unemployment and a vibrant business community, San Luis Obispo County is a logical expansion for us.”

Several other banks, including Netherlands-based Rabobank and Citizens Business Bank, have employed similar strategies in hiring local talent as they’ve expanded their Central Coast presences. Ontario-based Citizens plans to open a branch in October in Santa Barbara while Rabobank looks to grow in Santa Maria and further north. Both banks are focusing their lending on small- to mid-size businesses.

The shares of its parent company Community West Bancshares traded up 5 cents to $6.95 following the Sept. 17 announcement. It posted a $2.3 million loss in the second quarter of 2015 following a $7.2 million loan settlement. The bank earned $1.8 million in the first quarter. It has $587.3 million in total assets and a $57.02 million market cap.

The bank closed its real estate lending division on Aug. 14 to concentrate on commercial lending and manufactured-home mortgages, Plourd said. The company did not specify if any employees were impacted.

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