Eighth Consecutive Quarter of BauerFinancial 5-Star Rating for Grandpoint Bank and its Divisions

5starjun15It means a lot to us to have our clients’ trust, and we work hard to maintain it. We know you want to have top-notch business advisors and a rock-solid financial institution at your disposal, and on that note, we’re happy to share that Grandpoint Bank and its divisions Regents BankBank of Tucson and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, received an eighth consecutive 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness from independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial.↗ The five star rating, which was based on March 31, 2015 financial data, goes only to banks that are considered the strongest in the nation.

BauerFinancial is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service,” and banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated. Ratings, which range from zero to five stars, are determined by a bank’s capital strength, asset quality and profitability, using quarterly financial reports filed with the government by each bank, with historical comparison for consistency.

First quarter results also earned Grandpoint and its divisions another A+ health rating from DepositAccounts.com,↗ an independent bank health monitoring publication covering banks for nearly a decade. Grandpoint has earned their A+ rating for 17 consecutive quarters.

DepositAccounts.com provides information about bank health free of charge to consumers. Using a proprietary algorithm, DepositAccounts.com’s ratings reflect the strength and stability of more than 14,000 financial institutions.

Thanks to all of our wonderful team members and clients who help make this possible.

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Pedal for a Purpose Raises Nearly $42,000 for Carlsbad Unified School District Programs

Pedal for a purpose

Congratulations to Carlsbad Educational Foundation↗ on its successful Pedal for a Purpose↗ fundraising event! We’re proud to have sponsored this fun, spin-crazy fundraiser where teams of up to five, ride relay style (or solo) on dozens of stationary spinning bikes throughout the three hour event.

Pedal for a Purpose was a great opportunity for friends, family and co-workers of the spinners to support their fundraising efforts by sponsoring an individual and/or team. Companies and individuals also sponsored the event.

Carlsbad Educational Foundation invests in local children’s futures through excellence in education. The organization funds music, science and innovation in Carlsbad schools and provides programs that would not otherwise be available to the 11,000 students in the Carlsbad Unified School District. Specifically, the Foundation aims to keep music and science teachers in Carlsbad’s elementary schools, a science lab tech at both high schools, science lab equipment and consumables for hands-on science experiments, robotics teams at all schools, Science Olympiad teams at all middle and high schools, BizTown↗ for all 5th grade students, an environmental stewardship program for all 3rd graders and much more.

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Pedal for a Purpose was held on the plaza of the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa↗ on May 9. Tri-City Wellness Center↗ donated all of the bikes for the fundraising event. Between participants and sponsors, Pedal for a Purpose raised nearly $42,000 for Carlsbad Educational Foundation.

The event also featured music and dancing, a bike safety rodeo and activities for kids, as well as massages, prizes and goodies for riders.

“We value being part of local communities that come together to enrich the lives of their residents, and we enjoy having a role in that effort,” stated Stephen Friedman, Regents Bank executive vice president and regional manager.

Providing an extraordinary education for our children is tantamount to securing the prosperity and progress of our city and region. Thank you to everyone who went the extra mile (literally, for some) to do so through their support of Pedal for a Purpose.

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Happy Independence Day

4th-of-July-Fireworks-Banner-4

In observance of our nation’s birthday, we wish everyone a happy 4th of July.

In honor of the holiday, we’d like to share some history about the American flag with you from usa-flag-site.org↗:

On January 1, 1776, the Continental Army was reorganized in accordance with a Congressional resolution which placed American forces under George Washington’s control. On that New Year’s Day the Continental Army was laying siege to Boston which had been taken over by the British Army. Washington ordered the Grand Union flag hoisted above his base at Prospect Hill. It had 13 alternate red and white stripes and the British Union Jack in the upper left-hand corner (the canton).

In May of 1776, Betsy Ross reported that she sewed the first American flag.

On June 14, 1777, in order to establish an official flag for the new nation, the Continental Congress passed the first Flag Act: “Resolved, That the flag of the United States be made of thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.”

Between 1777 and 1960, Congress passed several acts that changed the shape, design and arrangement of the flag and allowed for additional stars and stripes to be added to reflect the admission of each new state.

  • Act of January 13, 1794 – provided for 15 stripes and 15 stars after May 1795.
  • Act of April 4, 1818 – provided for 13 stripes and one star for each state, to be added to the flag on the 4th of July following the admission of each new state, signed by President Monroe.
  • Executive Order of President Taft dated June 24, 1912 – established proportions of the flag and provided for arrangement of the stars in six horizontal rows of eight each, a single point of each star to be upward.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated January 3, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in seven rows of seven stars each, staggered horizontally and vertically.
  • Executive Order of President Eisenhower dated August 21, 1959 – provided for the arrangement of the stars in nine rows of stars staggered horizontally and eleven rows of stars staggered vertically.

Today the flag consists of thirteen horizontal stripes, seven red alternating with 6 white. The stripes represent the original 13 colonies, the stars represent the 50 states of the Union. The colors of the flag are symbolic as well: Red symbolizes Hardiness and Valor, White symbolizes Purity and Innocence and Blue represents Vigilance, Perseverance and Justice.

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Spotlight on Tami Nesburg, Executive Vice President at Regents Bank

Tami NesburgWhy are Fridays the most popular day of the week for our clients to visit the Vancouver branch? Because the Vancouver Regents team takes turns baking homemade chocolate chip cookies every Friday to share with clients. Tami and her hand-picked staff also host an annual holiday party, inviting their current and prospective clients. It’s a perfect time to mix and mingle.

Tami has run our Vancouver, Washington office for nearly 12 years, opening the office with colleague Lisa Johns on December 14, 2003. She has grown what started out as solely a loan production office into a full service business banking office with a very loyal client base. Tami set high ten-year goals for herself and her office for loans and deposits, and thanks to the amazing team, the office exceeded those goals, despite a period that spanned a very rough economic time.

Tami has lived in the Vancouver area since she was 10 years old. She feels a tremendous pride for her community and the opportunity she has to support local businesses and people. Tami estimates that 99 percent of our Vancouver office’s new business is by referral, which Tami sees as a reflection of the “extraordinary way” her team takes care of clients.

In addition to chocolate chip cookies, customer appreciation days, birthday cards and other special events that add to the Vancouver client experience, perhaps the most valuable service the team provides is their enthusiasm for taking part in clients’ strategic planning to grow and develop their companies. Tami and her staff dedicate themselves to helping clients reach their goals and in knowing other well-regarded and skilled service providers so that they can steer their clients in the right direction when needs arise for additional counsel.

Many of our Vancouver clients are family-owned businesses with annual revenues from $2 million to $75 million. It’s common for them to own the building in which they work and do both their business and personal banking with Regents Bank. Tami likes to make sure that she puts together a team of Regents bankers who know each company and their people; a team with enough generational diversity that they can seamlessly support all generations of their family-owned business clients over many, many years.

Beyond supporting the legacy of each of Regents Bank’s Vancouver-area clients, Tami works hard to support a strong community. She serves on the board of Identity Clark County,↗ whose mission is to assemble and focus corporate leadership and investment in a shared community agenda for economic expansion and vitality, and serves as President of the Clark County Public Facilities District Board. She is also treasurer for Gifts for Our Community,↗ which provides resources to the community in the areas of human services, education and the arts.

Through Regents Bank, Tami provides support for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington. Our bank sponsors the clubs’ annual luncheon, which attracts many civic leaders and raises funds. Additionally, Tami and many of her staff volunteer each year at Clark County Food Bank.↗ Regents Bank, thanks to Tami, is also the presenting sponsor and part of the planning committee for the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington’s↗ First Citizen award – given to an individual within the Vancouver community who has an amazing record of service.

When she wants to relax, Tami loves to cook and to take care of her diverse garden, as well as her chickens, Rosemary and Verbena. She also enjoys golf and travel.

Regardless of what she has planned, “every day is a fun adventure,” says Tami. We’re proud to spotlight this remarkable leader on our blog, and we hope you have the chance to know Tami and her team. And if you go on Friday, you can have a cookie!

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Regents Rovers Bring their Paws to the Park to Raise Money for SD Humane Society

(l to r): Brena with “Ezra”; Alice Tiongco (Escondido Office, Brena’s grandmother) with “Juneau”; Devon Richardson (Vista Office); Erin Brosch (Escondido Office) with “Zoe”; joined by mascot “Doggy McPup”

(l to r): Brena with “Ezra”; Alice Tiongco (Escondido Office, Brena’s grandmother) with “Juneau”; Devon Richardson (Vista Office); Erin Brosch (Escondido Office) with “Zoe”; joined by mascot “Doggy McPup”

On May 9, Regents Bank team “Regents Rovers” took part in the 16th annual Walk for Animals: Paws in the Park, a two-mile walk, with a half mile short route, at NTC Park at Liberty Station in San Diego. Our team, thanks to contributions from team members, co-workers and clients, raised $650 for the San Diego Humane Society↗ and had a great time doing it!

The event kicked off with a pancake breakfast, doggie activities and a vendor village. After the blessing of the animals, walkers and their furry companions warmed up and set off strolling to raise money for a great cause. Participants have raised nearly $332,000 so far.

(l to r): Escondido Office employees Alice Tiongco and Erin Brosch with “Zoe”

(l to r): Escondido Office employees Alice Tiongco and Erin Brosch with “Zoe”

Started in 1880 by famed San Diegans George W. Marston,↗ a civic leader and merchant, and George W. Hazzard,↗ a business and real estate leader, the San Diego Humane Society is the oldest and largest humane society in San Diego County and the recipient of repeated four-star ratings from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest independent evaluator of non-profits. Fewer than six percent of non-profits receive this recognition of sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

With campuses in San Diego, Escondido and Oceanside, San Diego Humane Society provides vital services to animals and people by sheltering animals, arranging adoptions, providing positive reinforcement training classes, investigating animal cruelty and neglect, presenting education programs for youth and adults and much more. We’re proud to support their mission of promoting the humane treatment of animals, to prevent cruelty to animals and provide education to enhance the human-animal bond.

Our Regents Rovers had a wonderful time helping this great nonprofit organization and its mission. We encourage anyone thinking about participating next year to mark their calendars.

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CBA 124th Annual Convention The Economic Outlook: Key Takeaways

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.24.22 PMBy Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner
Beacon Economics, LLC

Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics recently presented the firm’s economic outlook for California at the California Bankers Association annual convention. Business owners and managers of all types are wise to keep abreast of economic trends that may affect their industries and customers. As such, we are grateful that Beacon Economics has allowed us to share this summary with our clients and readers.

National Economy: What, Me Worry?

Eerily similar to 2014, growth in the first quarter of 2015 was much weaker than most analysts had expected, largely due to a sharp widening in the U.S. trade deficit and a slowdown in domestic consumption. But also similar to last year Beacon Economics believes this blip is largely transitory. Consumer spending, for example, seemed to be impacted by weather issues. With a still hot labor market, worker wages starting to rise, and a boost from lower energy costs, consumer spending is poised for growth. This view is supported by the savings rate, which rose by a full percentage point in the first quarter. Expect these savings to boost spending in the latter part of the year.

The weather also accounted for the slowing in construction—but not all of it. One big hit came from reduced spending on new oil wells, driven by lower oil prices. This will likely continue for a couple more quarters but will be offset, in part, by increases in spending on other types of structures. New home sales have picked up, as have permits for new non-residential structures, in many parts of the nation. Gains here should be more than enough to offset the slowing from oil exploration.

Trade continues to be a drag on the economy. The strong pace of U.S. growth has caused a sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar. That will weigh on growth this year, but not as heavily as in the first quarter. The global economy appears to be stabilizing slowly, and with stimulus programs being put into place in China and the European Union, we see better numbers by the end of the year. Add it up and Beacon Economics expects the nation to get close to 3% growth this year, still better than last year but not by as much as initially hoped.

California: Go West Young Man!

Our ongoing optimism about the Golden State’s prospects bore fruit again this year. California is growing at well over a 3% pace. This translates into 500,000 jobs created in the state in the last 6 months, accounting for almost 1 out of 6 jobs created nationally and totaling 100,000 more jobs than created in Texas. While some of these jobs are in the red-hot San Jose and San Francisco economies (ranked 1 and 3, respectively, for growth in major U.S. economies) they aren’t carrying the state on their own. Los Angeles, for example, grew at half the pace of the West Bay—but that still implies that L.A. added more jobs in absolute terms than San Jose and San Francisco combined. And growth isn’t limited to the coasts—Fresno, the Inland Empire, and Sacramento all posted growth numbers well above the national average.

The biggest problem the state faces currently is its lack of housing and rapidly declining levels of housing affordability. California can grow more rapidly as long as there is slack in the workforce. But at the current rate of job growth that slack will run out in the next 18 months. After that, growth can only continue on the basis of net migration—not easy when there isn’t even enough housing construction to supply the needs of natural increase (births minus deaths). Unless something dramatic is done to deal with this chronic problem, expect growth to slow in a couple years.

Credit Environments

The credit environment is still improving. Delinquencies and charge-offs continue to decline for all classes of loans. Banks have similarly been reducing their loan-loss reserves in response. Despite this, however, the pace of bank lending remains subdued. Growth in direct loans has been running in the 6% to 7% annual range, lower than the typical 10%. C&I and Commercial Real Estate continue to run hotter than normal, consumer loans cooler, and residential loans are still in decline. The slow recovery in housing as well as the ongoing struggle with new financial rules and regulations has limited the available supply of credit to potential borrowers.

California based banks continue to buck the trend on this front. Outstanding loans grew at a 16% rate through the final quarter of last year, driven largely by C&I, construction, multifamily, and commercial real estate loans. Even housing has changed course in the state. Loans tied to residential properties grew by 12% over the course of 2014.

So far there are few signs of problems in the credit markets. Auto loans being made by non-financial institutions did show some increase in delinquencies at the end of 2014—likely due to the aggressive push in sub-prime auto loans by these entities. And valuations for tech firms seem aggressively high relative to profits. But a true financial crisis is not caused by modest front line trends. Rather the issues have to be much more broad based, and equivalently, have to be accompanied by an expansive increase in overall credit. Today, credit is flowing at a pace that matches economic growth, or in other words, the debt to GDP ratio is at a reasonable level. No worries—at least not yet.

As for rates, the 10-year bond remains steady at 200 bps, while the Federal Reserve has stayed the course. Estimates of Fed tightening actions keep getting pushed back largely on the basis of current economic conditions. We always expect very slow action on the part of the Federal Reserve. Forget equity prices; it is leverage that worries the Fed most—and leverage is not expanding in any troublesome way right now. Equivalently, the share of discouraged and underemployed workers, while falling, is still high from a long-term standpoint. There isn’t much of a punch bowl to take away.

Low interest rates, and high valuations on many assets, is a function of the wave of capital crashing onto U.S. shores without many places for it to be absorbed. Until the global economy returns to a sufficiently aggressive growth plane and can re-absorb some of the liquidity, Beacon Economics sees low rates, low returns, and high valuations as a part of the financial landscape for at least the next few years.

For additional information about Beacon Economics or Christopher Thornberg, please visit www.BeaconEcon.com.↗ Dr. Thornberg’s complete PowerPoint Presentation is now available on the Beacon website.

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Meet Devin Jackson, Relationship Manager at Regents Bank

Devin JacksonVancouver, Washington and the Portland metro area are often called out as a great place to live. We know it’s also a great place to do business, and our Vancouver office is staffed with people, like Devin Jackson, who are passionate about helping local companies grow and succeed.

Devin, a vice president at Regents Bank, is home-grown and even knows some of his clients from his school days at Skyview High School, Gonzaga University (BS degree in Finance) and Willamette University (current MBA program). He enjoys living in an area that’s very metropolitan but retains a small town vibe. He likes that he’s always running into his clients at the grocery store, the movie theater (he’s a film buff), Portland Timbers soccer games (and a soccer fan) and just about everywhere else he goes.

That’s not all he does with his free time, though. He just wrapped up a seven-year stint as a Big Brother to a local youth (who’s not so young anymore), and he’s currently chair of the Fort Vancouver Regional Library Foundation,↗ which supports ongoing activities promoting lifelong learning and literacy. As chair of the Foundation, Devin is focused on building new libraries in three local communities. It’s a capital project he expects will take five years. He’s also a big supporter of the Library’s free educational seminars for current and would-be business owners and entrepreneurs.

Helping businesses focused on growth is what most excites Devin about his work at Regents Bank. The service he strives to provide goes beyond standard banking assistance. He enjoys determining the resources his clients need and providing useful connections and information that will help his clients succeed. His clients often describe him as a consultant as well as a banker – something that distinguishes Devin and Regents Bank from competitors.

Devin believes that being a good community banker means understanding the unique challenges of his clients and their industries. He knows that his construction-related companies in the northwest face seasonal challenges, which can translate into cash flow issues and the need to maintain lines of credit. Manufacturers run into similar challenges with the ebb and flow of fulfilling orders and receiving payments. No matter what the industry, Devin says that long-term, close relationships between Regents’ bankers and their clients are always important, especially during challenging economic times or when the business is contemplating a big change, such as an acquisition or building purchase.

Devin is also frequently part of the team of relationship managers at Regents Bank who work with multi-generational business owners in our area in order to help maintain a relationship legacy. When one generation passes along the reins to the next, no one wants to sacrifice or compromise the professional relationships they’ve worked so hard to cultivate.

So, the next time you see Devin around town or at the movies – or maybe at a Vancouver Chamber of Commerce or Southwest Washington Contractors Association meeting -be sure to say hello. Devin looks forward to chatting with you.

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“Banker for the Day” at Regents Bank Vancouver

 

Vancouver Banker for the Day, Jo’siah: Regents Treatment – Easter goodies and office with a view

Vancouver Banker for the Day, Jo’siah: Regents Treatment – Easter goodies and office with a view

Our Vancouver, Washington office works closely with their local Boys & Girls Club to serve and mentor youth in the community.  Their office recently hosted nine-year old Jo’siah and provided him the opportunity to be a “Banker for the Day.”  He observed the staff perform their duties and interact with clients, and even rolled up his own sleeves for some hands-on banking experience..

Jo’siah was given the “Regents Treatment,” which consisted of lunch with our employees and an Easter basket filled with goodies for a job well done.  Following his visit, Kaitie Swengel, the Boys & Girls Club Coordinator, sent an email thanking the staff for making Jo’siah’s day so special, stating “The kid can’t stop smiling!”

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington seek to provide a positive environment, quality programs and lifelong learning skills for all school age youth in Vancouver and its surrounding areas, with special concern for those coming from disadvantaged circumstances.  Instead of walking the streets or being home alone, youth come to the Club where trained professionals provide: a safe environment for kids to have fun and be themselves; constructive programs that channel youthful energy into challenging pursuits; and supportive relationships that help build young people’s self-esteem.

We enjoyed having you work with us, Jo’siah, and we think you have what it takes to be a great banker someday.

(l to r back): Tami Nesburg, Debbie Schlinkmeier, Bob Hinojosa, Jesse Murphy-Hill and Devin Jackson (front & center): Boys & Girls Club youth, Jo’siah

(l to r back): Tami Nesburg, Debbie Schlinkmeier, Bob Hinojosa, Jesse Murphy-Hill and Devin Jackson (front & center): Boys & Girls Club youth, Jo’siah

Grandpoint Bank and its Divisions Awarded BauerFinancial 5-Star Rating

Screen Shot 2015-04-18 at 3.49.54 PMGrandpoint Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, Bank of Tucson and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, received a 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness from independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial, based on December 31, 2014, financial data. This is the seventh consecutive quarter Grandpoint has earned a 5-star rating, which BauerFinancial awards only to banks that are considered the strongest in the nation.

BauerFinancial is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service,” and has been analyzing the performance of banks and credit unions since 1983. Ratings are determined by the bank’s capital strength, asset quality and profitability.

BauerFinancial’s analyses are made using quarterly financial reports filed with the government by each bank or credit union, with historical comparison for consistency. Its star-rating is assigned based upon a scale of zero to five stars. Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated.

Grandpoint and its divisions also received an A+ rating from DepositAccounts.com, an independent bank health monitoring publication covering banks and bank deals for nearly a decade. This rating was also based on fourth quarter 2014 financial data.

DepositAccounts.com provides information about bank health free of charge to consumers. The company’s ratings are an indication of more than 14,000 banks’ and credit unions’ strength and stability based upon DepositAccounts.com’s proprietary algorithm.

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Regents Bank sponsors Renaissance Executive Forum event

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Seminar attendees gathered at The Prado in Balboa Park to hear from David Finkel. © Zhukovsky

Regents Bank proudly sponsored the Renaissance Executive Forums’↗ March event, entitled Scale! A Concrete Road Map to Work Less and Produce More. Approximately 120 attendees, primarily business owners and key executives, heard from David Finkel, an ex-Olympic level athlete turned serial entrepreneur and best-selling author. He is founder of Maui Mastermind®,↗ a business coaching company that helps organizations build their companies to sell, scale or own passively.

David spoke about creating a sustainable business that reduces the reliance on the owner/entrepreneur, in turn creating greater long term value while simultaneously improving the quality of life for the owner. Done right, he says, business owners can grow their businesses while sacrificing less of their time.

At Regents Bank, helping our clients reach their goals means being active in the local business community. We are always looking for new ideas, valuable information and opportunities to present to our clients. Renaissance Executive Forums is an excellent resource for business owners, presidents and top executives to gain advice, support and insight. Our own Executive Vice President, Stephen Friedman is a member of this group, as are many of our clients. Sponsoring an event like this helps us and our clients stay connected and forward-thinking.

To that effect, we’d like to share some of the key takeaways from David’s presentation:

  • Shift reliance away from the owner and the management team by building the “Three Legged Stool” of successful management:  Team, Systems and Controls
  • Focus on “Sweet Spot” activities:  Activities that lie at the intersection of Low Hanging Fruit (easiest to implement) and Home Runs (most impactful outcome)
  • Recognize and leverage the difference between Control (centralized decision making) and Controls (pre-established parameters for decentralized decision making)
  • Free your calendar from lower value activities by utilizing “The Four Ds”:  Delete, Delegate, Defer and Design.

We will continue to identify and create ways to support our clients in their pursuit of business and professional growth and look forward to sharing this information with you. 

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