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FINANCE–Earnings Appear to Be Up for Some Local Banks

Cuyamaca Bank to Install a New Check Imaging System

Several San Diego County banks recently noted they had better earnings in 1999 than in the previous year.

San Diego National Bank said late last month it experienced a 49 percent growth in 1999 net earnings , $22.5 million compared to $15.1 million in 1998. Its total assets reached $1.23 billion in 1999, an increase of 21 percent over the previous year’s asset total of $1.07 billion, said Robert Horsman, president and CEO.

Rancho Santa Fe National Bank attained record operating results in 1999 with major growth in loans and deposits, profitability and operating efficiency, said bank President James Boyce on Feb. 1.

In addition, the bank declared a cash dividend of 9 cents per share, payable Feb. 29 to shareholders of record Feb. 15. Rancho Santa Fe National Bank earned $3.06 million in 1999, about 22 percent more than 1998, he said.

Total assets for the bank rose to $182.5 million, an increase of 9.9 percent over the previous year. He said total deposits of $162.4 million and loans of $131.9 million represent growth during the year of 9.3 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

Borrego Springs Bank reported net earnings of $182,000, or 19 cents per share, for 1999. That compares to net earnings of $29,000 or 4 cents per share for 1998, said Frank Riolo, president and CEO. Last year was the bank’s first year of pretax profits since 1991, he said.

The bank had assets of $66.3 million at year-end, a 17 percent increase over the same date in 1998. Net loans grew to $34.7 million, a 7 percent climb over 1998, while deposits reached $54.1 million, up 7 percent over 1998, Riolo said.

Scripps Financial Corp., parent company of La Jolla-based Scripps Bank, said Feb. 4 net income for 1999 hit $4.4 million, or 63 cents per share, compared to 1998 net income of $5.9 million, or 84 cents per share. The principal reason for the decline in earning during 1999 was a charge related to the write-off of a major loan default in late December, said Ronald J. Carlson, president of Scripps Financial Corp.

Scripps Financial Corp. ended the year with total assets of $631.9 million, an 8.5 percent increase over 1998, Carlson said. That makes it the largest locally owned, publicly traded bank in the county, he added.

Net loans grew 16.7 percent from $336 million in December 1998 to $392 million at the end of 1999. Total deposits climbed 9.7 percent from $531 million to $582.2 million. Scripps Bank celebrated its 16th anniversary on Jan. 16 and recently declared a 6 cent per-share cash dividend to shareholders of record Jan. 7, Carlson said.

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New System: Santee-based Cuyamaca Bank will soon be installing a new check imaging system designed by Mitek Systems Inc. of San Diego.

The CheckQuest check imaging system can accurately recognize the courtesy and legal amounts written by hand on checks, said Paul Cable, executive vice president and CFO of Cuyamaca Bank, on Feb. 8.

By automatically balancing the debits and credits of transactions, CheckQuest reduces operator involvement in the information gathering process and decreases labor costs, said John Thornton, president of Mitek Systems Inc.

Attorneys Move to Local Brobeck Office

Six attorneys from the local office of Lyon & Lyon have left to join the local office of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, an official of Brobeck said Feb. 9

Jim Elacqua, leader of the intellectual property group at Brobeck, said the new members of his firm bring with them biotechnology and telecommunications law experience that will complement his firm’s existing expertise.

“Our group at Brobeck has tripled in size in the last two years and with this group we will be five times the size we were three years ago,” Elacqua said.

“We already had 45 lawyers in patent litigation companywide, with a lot of emphasis on semiconductors and telecommunications, and this new group gives us the biotechnology segment of the business as well.”

Former Lyon managing partner Doug Olson was among the attorneys leaving. Joining him at Brobeck as patent law partners are John Benassi, Stephen Korniczky, F.T. Alexandra Mahaney and Richard Warburg. Bradford Duft will also become a partner at Brobeck, Elacqua said.

“This is a challenge, but challenge provides opportunity for accomplishment,” commented Robert Dickerson, Los Angeles-based managing partner for Lyon & Lyon.

Dickerson said the San Diego office of his firm still has more than 20 intellectual property attorneys operating out of it.

Sometimes partners from other offices use the facility and as many as 30 lawyers are sometimes working there, he added.


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