April 3, 2024
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American Riviera Bank expanding to San Luis Obispo County


American Riviera Bank is making a jump into the San Luis Obispo County market, opening a loan production office in Paso Robles with additional branches planned to fill in the territory north of its Santa Barbara base.

The office will open next month at 205 Oak Hill Road in The Highlands Shopping Center. It will offer a suite of real estate, agriculture, residential mortgage, construction and SBA-guaranteed loans.

American Riviera, one of four remaining independent community banks based in the region, said the office will be replaced by a full-service branch by early 2018 and that it “expects to open more branches between Santa Barbara and Paso Robles in the future.”

This is the second time in less than a year that an area bank targeted SLO County for expansion. Earlier, Community West Bank, based in Goleta, opened a branch in San Luis Obispo, near the regional airport.

“In the last five years, San Luis Obispo County lost all of its community banks to mergers,” said Jeff DeVine, American Riviera’s president and CEO.

The bank said that Neil Amarante will serve as senior vice president and regional credit manager. Ann Cochrane will be vice president for commercial and ag banking and Paul Tognazzini will serve as community relationship officer.

American Riviera has assets of $467 million as of March 31 and currently operates branches in Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta.

Net income jumped to $956,000 or 22 cents per share in the first quarter from $142,000 or four cents a year earlier. Its shares, traded on the OTC market, closed unchanged on July 11 at $16.95.