300 Layoffs at SBB&T

After receiving $180 million dollars from the U.S. Treasury Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP), the parent company of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Pacific Capital Bancorp, announced on March 18 that it will eliminate 22 percent of its full-time positions. Of the approximately 300 employees to be laid off, Debbie Whiteley, Pacific Capital’s executive vice president of investor relations, said, “A fair proportion of those will come from this area,” as more than half of the company’s employees work in Santa Barbara County. She could not give an exact number, though she did say that the company will not be closing any branches. According to its 2008 proxy statement, Pacific Capital had a consolidated net loss of $23.8 million for the year. It applied for TARP, last year’s big federal bank bailout program, and received the money on November 21. Whiteley said Pacific Capital loaned $197 million in new loans during the fourth quarter of 2008. As a result of the Pacific Capital’s financial standing at the end of 2008, President and CEO George Leis as well as five other top executives lost their cash bonuses. However, they were awarded restricted stock shares. In addition to his $580,769 salary, Leis received 8,872 shares, valued at $70,000. The company awarded a total of $2.4 million in cash incentive bonuses to employees participating in the Incentive Performance Plan who were not top executives and who met their individual goals. In 2007, all company cash bonuses were fully funded at $5.3 million, with Leis receiving a $400,000 cash bonus.

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