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North Bay Business Journal

Monday, February 7, 2011, 4:40 am

Banking & Finance: Vallejo credit union merged, renamed Community Trust

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    Also: Hennessy raises dividend; Presidio Bank nets $901,023 for 2010

    1st Pacific Credit Union, headquartered in Vallejo, merged with the North Carolina-based Self-Help Federal Credit Union group and will operate under the name Community Trust.

    1st Pacific took a loss of more than $6 million in 2009 and close to $5 million in 2010.

    “The current economic climate is very challenging for financial institutions, including credit unions,” said 1st Pacific chief executive officer Tim Barnes in a letter to members.

    “1st Pacific determined that the best means to continue to offer high-quality financial services and to expand our locations and products was to merge with another strong credit union partner. This merger enhances our financial stability and enables us to better serve our members. When we decided a merger was the right path for the credit union, we were excited to find that Self-Help FCU is very similar to 1st Pacific in values, culture, mission and dedication to best serve its members; these aspects, as well as a strong financial position, create a very good partnership.”

    The merger will increase the products and services to 1st Pacific’s members, including residential mortgage lending which dropped off as the economy turned.

    All deposits will continue to be insured for up to $250,000 by the National Credit Union Administration.

    “In anticipation of the merger we raised our CD rates and we look forward to making other beneficial changes. Perhaps the most exciting result of partnering with Self-Help FCU is that we will be able to reignite our residential mortgage lending,” said Mr. Barnes. “Self-Help FCU offers great products for both owner occupied and non-owner occupied properties.”

    ***

    Hennessy Advisors announced an increase in the annual cash dividend from $0.09 per share to $0.10 per share for 2011. The dividend will be paid in quarterly installments rather than annually.  The first quarterly dividend of 2.5 cents will be paid on March 4, 2011 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 9, 2011.

    “We are very pleased to increase the amount of the annual dividend and to reward our shareholders with this quarterly cash dividend, which closely follows the previous annual dividend paid on Nov. 18, 2010.  We believe that moving to a quarterly dividend payment further demonstrates the deep value of Hennessy Advisors Inc. stock,” said Neil Hennessy, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Hennessy Advisors. “We believe this dividend highlights the fundamental financial strength of Hennessy Advisors, as well as our longstanding commitment to our shareholders.”

    ***

    Presidio Bank reported net income of $901,023 for 2010, a significant increase compared to the $3.13 million loss reported in 2009.

    “We are pleased with our results for both the quarter and the year as the bank continues to execute its strategy of adding high quality client relationships with only modest increases in expenses,” said Steve Heitel, president and chief executive officer of the bank. “Our credit quality metrics remain strong, our margins expanded, and we have considerable earnings momentum going into 2011.”

    Total assets increased to $291.5 million during the year, up 19 percent from the $244.2 reported at the end of 2009. Total loans increased also 19 percent to $258.6 and total deposits increased 27 percent to a record $247.4 during the same period.

    “The bank has admirably weathered this economic downturn,” said Presidio Bank Chairman, Jim Woolwine. “We attribute our success to our continued focus on the fundamentals – growing quality business by building enduring relationships with our clients.”

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    Submit items for this column to Jenna V. Loceff at jloceff@busjrnl.com, 707-521-4259 or fax 707-521-5292.

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