Twelfth Consecutive 5-Star “Superior” Rating for Grandpoint Bank and Regents Bank

5-star-logo-MAR-2016Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, Bank of Tucson and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, received a twelfth consecutive quarterly 5-Star “superior” rating from independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial,↗ which is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service.”

The five-star rating, which was based on March 31, 2016 financial data filed with the government, goes only to banks that are considered the strongest in the nation, as assessed for strength, stability and soundness.

According to BauerFinancial, to earn five stars, institutions are required to maintain a tangible capital ratio of at least four percent, a tier 1 risk-based capital ratio of at least four percent and a total risk-based capital ratio of at least eight percent. Other criteria evaluated include: profitability/loss trend, evaluating the level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated by BauerFinancial. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.

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Stephen Friedman Discusses Consultative Banking, Bagels and Basketball on Buddy’s Financial Fitness Hour

Stephen Friedman headshot NEW

In case you were not able to tune into Buddy’s Financial Fitness Hour↗ on 1700AM ESPN on June 14, we wanted to provide you with a brief video clip as well as the complete podcast of our very own Executive Vice President Stephen Friedman’s appearance on the radio show.

You don’t want to miss Stephen’s tips about applying for a loan, and you can even hear about his entrepreneurial roots in bagels and bakeries.

On the podcast, Stephen is featured for the first 30 minutes as well as the last 12 minutes. He discusses the importance of being a trusted advisor as a business owner’s banker and covers some of the basics of choosing the right form of credit. He also details the benefits of keeping your banker regularly apprised about your business and reveals “the most important thing” for growing businesses. (Spoiler Alert: it’s having continuous access to credit.)

The rest of the broadcast, which features Jim Tenuto, CEO of Renaissance Executive Forums, has some useful business information, too. But it’s not all business. Since ESPN is known as a sports network, the participants talked about basketball, too!

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftIlcdSXQpw↗

Podcast: http://www.realtalksandiego.com/podcasts↗ (scroll down to Real Talk San Diego – Stephen Friedman and Jim Tenuto 6-14-16)

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Happy Independence Day

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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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Regents Bank Makes First-of-its-Kind Cyber Crime Insurance Available!

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Regents Bank has introduced a new way for its business banking clients to protect themselves from financial losses due to funds transfer fraud and cyber deception through a first-of-its-kind cyber insurance group policy.

Grandpoint Bank created Grandpoint Insurance Services, Inc., a non-bank insurance agency affiliate, to develop the Client Cyber Crime Insurance product. The policy, offered to customers of Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, including Regents Bank, offers cyber crime loss coverage that is specifically geared to monetary losses. It was created as an affordable and easy alternative to individually underwritten, higher-priced commercial crime insurance policies.

The majority of businesses don’t realize that they have significantly more exposure for losses due to fraud than individual account holders, who are afforded certain regulatory protections. Businesses are often tricked into approving fraudulent transfers, notwithstanding internal controls to identify and prevent this kind of risk.  According to the FBI, since 2013, over 17,000 businesses have lost an aggregate of more than $2.3 billion to one type of cyber crime alone, known as the business email scam.

Even as monetary losses due to cyber crime have skyrocketed in recent years, many traditional commercial crime policies specifically exclude losses arising from cyber deception.

“We are excited to make this new coverage available to our business clients,” said Petra Griffith, Director of Product Development for Grandpoint Bank. “The policy focuses on the kinds of coverage that directly address the key fraud risks that businesses face – losses to their bank accounts through cyber crime.  Cyber crime is a major concern for businesses, especially since they are typically liable if cyber criminals steal funds from their business accounts. They often don’t have the appropriate insurance in place and are finding it more difficult to protect themselves in this ever evolving, increasingly sophisticated cyber crime environment.”

The Client Cyber Crime Insurance policy is available exclusively to business clients of Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Regents Bank, Bank of Tucson, and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, through Grandpoint Insurance Services, in partnership with LBW Insurance & Financial Services, Inc.  The policy is underwritten by Hiscox Inc., on behalf of Underwriters at Lloyd’s, London, which is rated A by A.M. Best. Insurance products are not a deposit, not FDIC insured, not federal government agency insured, not bank guaranteed.

The Client Cyber Crime Insurance group policy coverage helps reimburse funds in business deposit accounts lost due to funds transfer fraud and cyber deception and is offered at premiums that represent substantial savings from individual policies currently available on the market. Any business that has a deposit account at Grandpoint Bank or its divisions is automatically eligible to enroll in the policy and select from a range of coverages with premiums that start at $30 per month.

“Educating and alerting our clients, and the broader business community, about established and emerging cyber crime trends is a commitment we’re passionate about,” said Steve Sefton, President of Regents Bank. “We’ve been working for over a year to create a more powerful solution to help clients protect their financial assets against attacks by cyber criminals.”

For more information on the Client Cyber Crime Insurance, visit grandpointinsurance.com (California Insurance License #0K82434).

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Insurance Products are:
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Insurance Products are offered through Grandpoint Insurance Services, Inc., a non-bank insurance agency affiliate of Grandpoint Bank, and facilitated through LBW Insurance & Financial Services, Inc., an unaffiliated insurance agency.

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Cyber security alert … There are only two kinds, which one are you?

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Thank you to article author Linda Drake of Trailblazer Advisors and to Inside Tucson Business for allowing us to republish this article on our blog.

A common meme in the imploding industry of information security is the assertion that there are only two kinds of companies:

Those that have been hacked and those who don’t know they’ve been hacked!

Which one are you?

There are some stunning statistics* that every small and medium-sized business should know that require your attention and action for your protection.

No business or organization can prevent data breaches. A single credit card data breach can cost your business $217 per incident

According to experts, the cost of a company-wide data breach costs a minimum of $10,000

92 percent of companies experiencing a breach did not know it (they were notified by a 3rd party)

75 percent of breaches occur in businesses with less than 100 employees.

Only 25 percent of breaches are IT or hacker-related; this means 75 percent of breach events are related to current/former employees, customers, vendors, contractors and organized crime or social engineering.

Yet, 83 percent of SMB’s do not have a formal cybersecurity plan.

Most importantly, 64 percent of companies with 500 or fewer employees go out of business within a year of being hacked!

If the last statement does not compel you to take action, close your business down now!

The age of the ‘Internet of Everything’ is upon us. Companies need to harness this technology as an asset or potentially endure irreparable harm.  According to Gartner Research, companies incur four times the expense to respond to data breach events than the installation of appropriate security technology to prevent it.  Of course, the actual expense of a breach does not include the correspondent frustration, aggravation and untold embarrassment.

As a business owner you may be asking yourself, am I really at risk?  “Indeed, you really are!” retorted Kathy Delaney Winger, Esq., an attorney who practices in the area of cybersecurity.   “All companies must protect ‘Personally Identifiable Information,’ commonly termed (PII).” PII can be defined as any information about an individual maintained by an agency, including (1) any information that can be used to distinguish or trace an individual’s identity, such as name, social security number, date and place of birth, mother’s maiden name, or biometric records; and (2) any other information that is linked or linkable to an individual, such as medical, educational, financial, and employment information.”

“The truth is,” stated Kathy, “the definition of information is very broad, as is your obligation to protect it.  For example, even if a business owner hires a third party to perform services that involve the use of PII (such as payroll processors) the business owner may still be at risk if a breach occurs.”

According to Kathy, there are multiple factors that you should consider when thinking about cybersecurity and protecting your business.  “It’s critically important to be aware of the PII that your business is collecting, holding and/or sharing with third parties,” said Kathy.  “Once you’ve made yourself aware of it, you should take steps to protect the information and have a plan as to how you will handle matters (such as complying with your obligation to notify affected parties) in the event of a breach.”  Kathy recommends that business owners work closely with professionals who are knowledgeable in this area, including lawyers and companies that specialize in computer security.  According to Kathy, businesses should also discuss the issue with insurance professionals.  “I recommend that business owners consider purchasing cyber insurance that will protect the company should a breach occur,” said Kathy.  She continued “the statistics cited at the start of this article illustrate that, once a breach occurs, a company’s liability can be extensive.  Thus, business owners are well advised to insure against data breach losses just as they insure against many other kinds of losses.”

According to James Riley, CEO of JNR Networks, the number one technology virus is the user!  Most systems are compromised by users who knowingly or unknowingly create the vulnerability of access to your data.

So what steps should you take to protect your data and your company?

The first, most immediate action is modifying the approach to passwords.  Some IT experts suggest that you should treat passwords like underwear: don’t leave them where people can see them, change them often, do not lend them to others, and make sure they are a good “fit”. Further, the obfuscation of passwords is critical.

“Passwords should not include the obvious,” James suggests.  “Do not use passwords with your kids’ names, spouse, pets or anything that people know about you,” James commented. Passwords should be at least 8 characters that include upper and lower case, numbers and symbols.  The key to a unique and memorable password is the linking and twisting of terms that only have meaning to you.  “Spell words that are jumbled and have no relationship to each other, just to you.”

Beyond the password basics, James added, “All companies need at the very minimum, business grade (BG) antivirus software, BG firewalls, and BG equipment. But, all the best of these tools are nothing without the development of Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) that are established, reinforced and enforced in each company.”

One of our country’s greatest founding fathers had it right—

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

In the 18th century Ben Franklin had no idea that his words would be so applicable in this era coined, “The Third Wave of the Internet,” by AOL’s founder, Steve Case. The SMB bottom-line regarding cybersecurity is a simple message: explore, embrace, manage and, above all, control cyber technology before it controls you.

*Statistics presented by a panel of experts for AZ Tech Council at the recent Tech Junction Conference in Tucson.  Kathy Delaney Winger, Esq. of The Law Offices of Kathy Delaney Winger and James Riley, CEO of JNR Networks were two of the panelists.

Linda Drake is a 25 year, seasoned global entrepreneur, corporate executive, author and Certified Professional & Executive Coach.  As a CEO for CEO’s, Linda founded Trailblazer Advisors to catapult economic growth and leadership skills for business owners and senior management at any stage in the business lifecycle.  She believes that strong business leadership and entrepreneurism are the heart and promise of America. Linda is the President of the International Coaching Federation of Southern Arizona. 

Read the original article here:

http://www.insidetucsonbusiness.com/business_chatter/cyber-security-alert-there-are-only-two-kinds-which-one/article_993e8646-0d61-11e6-a13e-9bf1e63a7270.html↗

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Regents Rovers Raises More than $4000 for San Diego Humane Society

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Regents Rovers

Thanks to the leadership of our team captain, Erin Brosch, and our team members, Stephen Friedman, Cecilia Wittmann, Darla Clark, Claudia Sanchez, Kim Poole, Norma Soto, Taryn Diehl, Alice Tiongco and Amber Santos…as well as their friends and family, Regents Rovers raised more than $4,000 for the San Diego Humane Society.↗ Along with their pets, our team made the two-mile Walk For Animals at NTC Park at Liberty Station on May 7 to support the Humane Society and its transition within the last year to a no-kill policy.

Erin Brosch, mom Cheri and Zoe

Erin Brosch with mom Cheri and pup Zoe

In total, Regents Rovers had 26 team members, a remarkable increase from our team of three in 2015. We also raised more than eight times the money as last year.

Despite the drizzly day, pets and pet lovers showed up in force, and it wasn’t just dogs strutting their stuff. Cats, a goat, a pony and an iguana joined their canine compatriots, which included a dog riding a mini moped.

“I love this walk, because pets are a commonality between people – everyone loves their pet in the same way, no matter who they are or what they do,” said Erin. “Also, like pets, this entire event is very therapeutic; it’s easy to celebrate this cause.”

In total, the event raised well over $40,000 and counting. If you want to support the Humane Society, you can still donate through a Walk for Animals participant or directly to the Humane Society.↗ The money raised provides food, medical care and a safe haven for thousands of animals in need. This year, the San Diego Humane Society expects to save the lives of more than 30,000 animals. It is one of just a small handful of Humane Society organizations in the U.S. with a no-kill policy.

“Not only are the animals protected at the San Diego Humane Society, they also have nice accommodations, with glass enclosures instead of cages, and amenities like beds and toys,” Erin added.

Thank you to everyone who walked and who contributed to our team’s efforts to raise money and help San Diego’s animals. Want to join our team next year? Erin says we’re “absolutely” doing it again! Aye aye, captain.

Regents Rovers Santos Family

Santos Family

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Regents Rovers Kids

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Regents Bank Hires Yandro Valdez as Vice President/Relationship Manager

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 7.43.01 PMWe’re happy to announce that Yandro Valdez is joining our Regents Bank team as vice president and relationship manager for the North County region.

Yandro has extensive experience assessing and designing financial and operational solutions for his clients. He is also adept at identifying and assembling the right team of specialists to further propel his clients’ businesses.

“During his 13 years in the banking industry, Yandro has consistently distinguished himself as a top performer who is committed to the success of his clients,” said Jon Michael Caffall, Executive Vice President at Regents Bank.

Also a dedicated volunteer, Yandro shares his time and talents with Covenant House,↗ Boys & Girls Clubs of America,↗ Big Brothers Big Sisters of America,↗ Junior Achievement and Habitat for Humanity.↗

During his time volunteering with Covenant House while he lived in Los Angeles, Yandro and a handful of others raised money and awareness for the organization by sleeping outside in cardboard boxes. Covenant House works to get homeless youth off of the streets in metro areas throughout the U.S. and South America. Yandro spent time with the youth and listened to their stories of how they became homeless and what they need to thrive going forward.

He is particularly active with Junior Achievement, having volunteered with the organization for nearly eight years in two different states and worked with kids in the first and third grades to help them understand about how businesses and communities function. Yandro also spent two years mentoring a ‘little brother’ through Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Before joining Regents Bank, Yandro worked at local offices of Bank of America/Merrill Lynch as a vice president/commercial relationship manager for six years. He studied Finance at the University of South Florida in Tampa and is majoring in International Business Communications through Florida International University’s online program. Yandro is also fluent in English and Spanish.

We are pleased to add such a talented and caring individual to our Regents Bank team, and we hope you have the chance to meet Yandro soon.

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Let’s Go To The Dogs – With Regents Rovers

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The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.– Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi

San Diego Humane Society’s Walk for Animals San Diego is nearly here, and our Regents Bank team is gearing up! On Saturday, May 7, our team of more than 20 Regents Bank employees and friends, along with our four legged friends (on a leash), will make the two-mile walk at Liberty Station.

San Diego Humane Society raised so much money last year that San Diego County became a no-kill county for the first time ever, and we’re motivated to keep it that way.

Our team has raised nearly 75 percent of our $5,000 goal. We’re still growing our team, so we’re inviting you to join us. You and your furry friend(s) will enjoy free giveaways and a great morning stroll…not to mention the wonderful feeling that comes from saving animals.

If you can’t walk, a small donation would help so many animals in such a big way. Donations provide food, medical care and a safe haven for thousands of animals in need. Your donation and/or participation will literally made the difference between life and death for San Diego animals.

This year, San Diego Humane Society will save the lives of more than 30,000 animals. 

  • More than 10,000 homeless animals will find new homes
  • The foster program will provide a second chance to 2,000 sick, injured, or underage animals
  • 16,000 animals will be examined in veterinary medical centers
  • Humane law enforcement officers will respond to nearly 10,000 calls of animals in need
  • Project Wildlife will care for nearly 12,000 injured or orphaned wildlife
  • San Diego Humane Society surgeons will perform more than 5,500 reduced cost spay/neuter operations on community-owned animals
  • The Humane Society’s 24-hour-kitten nursery will serve as a safe haven to nearly 1,800 newborn, orphaned kittens

Please join us. To walk, click here↗ and go to Join Team – we are the Regents Rovers. To make a donation, this link↗ takes you to our team page.

Location
NTC Park at Liberty Station
2455 Cushing Road
San Diego, CA 92106

Schedule of Events

  • 7:00 a.m. — Registration, Pancake Breakfast, Doggie Activities, Vendor Village
  • 8:30 a.m. — Blessing of the Animals
  • 8:45 a.m. — Warm-up
  • 9:00 a.m. — Walk begins
  • 9:30 a.m. — Doggie activities and Vendor Village continue until noon

Fees

  • $40 – Adults (ages 18+)
  • $20 – Children (ages 17 and under)
  • $10 – Cat Nappers (Individuals who are raising funds but not attending the Walk)

All registered participants will receive a commemorative Walk for Animals T-shirt! T-shirts for Cat Nappers will be mailed after the event.

Thank you in advance for all who participate and/or donate.

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It’s Good to Have Friends… of Downtown

Screen Shot 2016-04-21 at 12.10.04 PMOur loyal blog readers may remember that we profiled our senior vice president, Ben Price, last year on our blog, and in that article mentioned a great organization called Friends of Downtown. Next month, Friends of Downtown↗ will host  its annual fundraiser to provide scholarships for San Diego City College↗ students. We want to take this opportunity to revisit their great work, including the contributions Ben makes to the organization, and help you learn more about how you, too, can help local college students.

Friends of Downtown was started in 1990 by a group of downtown professionals and was designated as a nonprofit in 2000. The group is now the largest provider of scholarships for San Diego City College students.

With approximately 16,000 students enrolled, San Diego City College is an important thread in the fabric of downtown, especially east downtown. Students come from all walks of life, but the affluence level of the student body trails other San Diego community colleges. San Diego City College administrators estimate that approximately 350 of their students are homeless, with maybe three times that number who are close to being homeless. Over 80 percent of the student body receive some sort of financial aid.

To date, Friends of Downtown has awarded over $400,000 in scholarships to City College students. “If they can get in to San Diego City College, I want to keep them there,” says Ben, commenting on why he’s so committed to Friends of Downtown’s scholarship program. “I believe in people continuing their education to get a job and prop themselves up.”

Friends of Downtown, currently led by Christine Baker, awarded 43 scholarships of $500 each this year. The students must apply and interview to compete for the scholarships.

“When we ask them how they will use the money, some students say they need it for bus fare or books…or even for food,” says Ben, who participates in the majority of the grant interviews. “We don’t restrict how they use the grant, as long as it helps them stay in school.”

Friends of Downtown has forged a strong relationship with San Diego City College, helping out with the school’s efforts to provide affordable interview attire to its students through the college-run boutique, Fantastique,↗ where students can also intern. Friends of Downtown members have held clothing and accessory drives for the boutique. They have also contributed to the school-run food bank, The Pantry.

“San Diego City College is a jewel of east village, not just for the significant renovations recently completed on the campus, but also for the creative and responsive programs they have created to help their students succeed,” says Ben. “It’s easy for our group to want to get behind the college and its students, who we hope will go on to become active members of San Diego’s business and civic community.”

One hundred percent of funds raised at Friends of Downtown’s May 19 breakfast↗ will go to the scholarship program. Both San Diego Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman and San Diego City College President Dr. Anthony Beebe are expected to speak at the event. More information about the breakfast and the Friends of Downtown scholarship program can be found at http://www.fodsd.org.

FOD Scholarship Luncheon Group Photo

Ben Price (far left, back row) from our San Diego Office serves on the selection committee which reviews all applicants from deserving students wishing to further their education

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The remarkable story of Phong Huynh

We’d like to share some special news on behalf of one of our clients: Phong Huynh of Pack-Huynh, LLC received a Heritage Award at the El Pollo Loco national conference! The Heritage Award is given to select El Pollo Loco franchisees who contribute to the success of the fire-grilled chicken chain in meaningful ways. Phong’s remarkable story of success was documented in a video↗ (which we have posted on our YouTube site) that was shown at the conference. Watching this video, you’ll learn how Phong went from being an orphan in Vietnam to living homeless and alone in Southern California at the age of 12 to running a very successful business.

If you needed more convincing to watch this moving and inspiring video, consider that the video won a Telly Award as National Short Film Documentary of the Year for filmmakers Leslie Peters and Kelly Schwarz, along with DesertBayProductions.com↗ and ACutAboveMedia.com.↗

Our heartfelt congratulations go out to Phong for his Heritage Award win and to his remarkable business partner, Maurice (Moe) Pack. We are honored to do business with you.

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