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BANKING—Sunrise Is Set This Fall for New Local Bank in UTC



Finance: Niche Seen As Local Banks Are Gobbled Up

Hoping to capitalize on recent acquisitions of local banks by large out-of-town financial institutions, an Arizona-based finance company is planning to open a new community bank in San Diego.

Sunrise Bank of San Diego (In organization) is awaiting its state charter and plans to open a full-service bank at 4570 Executive Drive in University Towne Centre as soon as it is issued, said bank President Steven Black. He said that would be in September or October.

Capital Bancorp Ltd. of Lansing, Mich., teamed up with Sun Community Bancorp Ltd. of Phoenix to form the local bank. It’s an established procedure for Joseph D. Reid, CEO and chairman of Sun Community Bancorp Ltd. and Capital Bancorp.

Reid has formed nearly a dozen Michigan banks over the past decade and in the last four years his company has started seven Arizona banks and others in Nevada and New Mexico, Black said.

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“All of our 24 banks in the family were built out of the ground from scratch,” Black said. “We first find the right staff people in the community and then build the bank with them.”

Black, 33, was a San Diego-based senior business development officer at First Union Bank until November 1999. Prior to that, he was a Small Business Administration loan officer for Money Store Investment Corp. of San Diego.

It was acquired by First Union in June 1998. He had worked for the Money Store since 1994.

Bank With Horsepower

“What we’re trying to be is a small community bank with the horsepower of a large bank holding company behind us,” Black said. “In this market, all of your credit decisions need to be made locally, which is what we’re doing here.”

Black said the local organization has been brokering loans for an affiliated bank in Phoenix. Once the charter is granted, Sunrise Bank of San Diego will start offering a wide variety of retail banking services in addition to originating SBA loans.

The bank will make a private stock offering sometime in the fall as well, he said.

The Arizona financial institution’s move into San Diego comes in the wake of several local bank acquisitions. On June 27, U.S. Bancorp of Minneapolis reached a tentative agreement to buy Scripps Bank. The offer is awaiting shareholder approval.

U.S. Bancorp bought Peninsula Bank of San Diego in September 1999 and locally based Bank of Commerce early that year. Community First Bancshares Inc. of Fargo, N.D., acquired Valley National Corp., parent company of Valle de Oro Bank of El Cajon, in May 1999 as well.

Community West Bancshares of Goleta bought Palomar Savings and Loan of Escondido in 1998.

Sunrise Bank joins two other brand new banks in the local marketplace: 1st Pacific Bank and Bank of the Internet USA. Bank of the Internet USA will stage its official launch Aug. 8 with a ceremony and reception at its office at 12220 El Camino Real in San Diego. 1st Pacific Bank opened its two offices , one at 7728 Regents Road and the other at 3500 College Blvd. in Oceanside , in July.

One banking industry observer sees new bank creation here and across the country as part of a trend that started six years ago.

John Hall, an analyst for the American Bankers Association in Washington, D.C., said in 1998, 194 new U.S. banks were chartered. That’s the most recent year for which figures are available. That’s an increase from 50 new banks chartered in 1994 when the country was still coming out of a recession, he said.

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