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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust Back from the Brink

Parent Company Boasts $12.3 Million in Fourth-Quarter Earnings


Pacific Capital Bancorp, the company that owns Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, reported net income of $12.3 million on January 30 for the three-month period that ended December 31, compared with $20.5 million, for the three-month period that ended September 30, 2011.

That brings the company’s total net income to $96.3 million since Texas billionaire Gerald Ford bailed out the region’s largest bank holding company with a $500 million investment from a wholly owned subsidiary of his Ford Financial Fund on August 31, 2010. Pacific Capital’s net income for the entire 2011 totaled $70.5 million.

“We are very pleased with our achievements in the fourth quarter,” said Carl B. Webb, Pacific Capital chief executive officer. “[Pacific Capital] has now reported five consecutive quarters of strong profitability, and we are among the most well-capitalized financial institutions in the country.”

That the company is “operating from a position of strength and stability,” Webb said in a news release, “allows us to focus on lending to customers throughout our markets and building the relationships that will continue to grow our core deposit base.”

Pacific Capital officials said fourth quarter 2011 earnings results were affected by a one-time, non-cash charge of $4.7 million related to the early redemption of $35 million in subordinated debt and a $3.9 million increase in the estimated “earnout” liability associated with final payments for the purchase of the company’s two registered investment adviser subsidiaries.

Company officials said they have increased regulatory capital ratios to 12.4 percent and 20.2 percent for tier one leverage and total risk-based capital, respectively. These were key problems for the bank during the recession as federal regulators called for the ratios to be boosted or run the risk of having the bank seized as several hundred have been during the past three years.

When Ford bailed the company out, the U.S. Treasury Department allowed Pacific Capital to pay back only 63 percent of the more than $180 million it was given through the Troubled Asset Relief Program after sour real estate loans almost brought down the Santa Barbara-based firm.

When the company reported multimillion-dollar losses in 2008, Pacific Capital laid off more than 325 of its 1,664 full-time employees and cut retiree benefits as loan losses mounted. The company has since hired back most of those workers.

Top Threats Discussed

A national expert on human resources will talk about “The Top Five Threats Facing Businesses Today” at a free breakfast presentation at 8 a.m. on February 10 at the Marmalade Café, 3825 State Street, Santa Barbara.

Registration and breakfast start at 8 a.m. The presentation ends at 10 a.m.

The Santa Barbara office of Express Employment Professionals is sponsoring the presentation. Seating is limited. RSVP by emailing Ian Moats or call (805) 965-6900 to register. Continental breakfast will be provided, and some raffle prizes will be given away to attendees.

The speaker is human resources expert Jack Smalley. Topics he will discuss include: the inability to innovate, losing your competitive advantage, high costs of reckless hiring, poor leadership and communication, and government regulatory nightmares.

Smalley has worked in executive-level management in oil, chemical, and packaging industries with an emphasis on manufacturing, engineering, sales, logistics, and corporate management.

Smalley is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and holds the designation of Senior Professional in Human Resources. Smalley is also a participant in the SHRM Mentor Program for HR professionals.

Film History Highlighted

One of the South Coast’s former industries is being highlighted at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum.

“The Flying A: Silent Film In Santa Barbara” commemorates the Flying A studio’s hundredth anniversary. It focuses on the studio’s operation between 1912 and 1921 when the company was disbanded as the film industry consolidated in Hollywood.

“Many locals are not aware that, for close to a decade, their city was a thriving center of early film making,” said Dan Calderon, museum curator.

The exhibit can be viewed through August 19 at the museum, 136 East De la Guerra Street. It features original equipment, documents, photographs, and a selection of original silent films, which will play on the Sala Gallery Wall Theatre.

The museum is also hosting presentations by lecturer and historian Neal Graffy. His talk, “A Liar, A Drunk & A Piano Teacher: The Story of the Flying A,” will be given at 11 a.m. on February 1, and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on February 3. Museum members and Santa Barbara International Film Festival platinum pass holders receive complimentary admission. The price for guests is $10, and reservations are recommended. The museum will host “Film Fest First Thursday” from 5 to 8 p.m. with live music, wine, and activities.

The standing exhibition may be viewed from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Museum admission is free. Docent-led tours are available at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, call (805) 966-1601 or visit www.santabarbaramuseum.com.

In the past, as now, the South Coast offered a variety of film backdrops from the mountains to urban scenes, large estates, and the ocean. Flying A made two to three movies a week and specialized in films of less than 30 minutes. Eventually, the studio produced feature films such as “Purity,” which offered some of the industry’s first nude scenes. Star Audrey Munson was a model who had posed for statuary in New York and Washington, D.C.

The studio’s biggest star was Mary Miles Minter who rivaled Mary Pickford and appeared in 26 movies from 1916 to 1919.

“The Flying A was also a training ground for major talent,” said David S. Bisol, museum executive director.

The studio’s Allan Dwan went on to direct Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood in 1922 and John Wayne in Sands of Iwo Jima in 1949. In 1939, the studio’s Victor Fleming directed Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz.

The South Coast Biz Blog is a roundup of business news in the Santa Barbara area and is written by Ray Estrada, restrada_2001@yahoo.com, who has covered business in the region for numerous publications over the past couple decades. See more at independent.com/biz and southcoastbizblog.

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