Union Bank is opening its first full-service branch in Sonoma in May. It will be the San Francisco-headquartered bank’s fourth North Bay location.
The branch will be at 500 Broadway or what the Sonoma County Historical Society calls the 120-year-old “old bank building." It is Sonoma's oldest bank building and was most recently occupied by Morgan Lane Real Estate.
Union Bank has been a commercial lender in Sonoma Valley for several years, but this is its first full-service branch to open in Sonoma County.
To date, the bank has hired Molly Fedorchak as branch manager and Ulku Barrett as priority banking manager, both Sonoma locals.
Sterling Financial Corp., owner of Sonoma Bank in Santa Rosa, last week said it is in active negotiations with several private equity investors, its major creditors and its regulators about various strategic alternatives designed to put Sterling on a sound financial footing and to allow it to recapitalize and grow its business.
As part of the plan, Sterling requested and received a letter from the U.S. Department of the Treasury of its support to convert the Sterling preferred stock that Treasury holds into Sterling common stock.
Additionally, Sterling said it has received several nonbinding proposals from private-equity firms and has entered into a nonbinding letter of intent with one firm to provide additional capital to Sterling.
“We continue to make progress toward raising capital and improving our financial condition. We are encouraged by the positive recognition of the value of Sterling’s franchise and the continued loyalty of the customers and the communities we serve,” said Greg Seibly, president and chief executive officer of Sterling Financial. “Treasury’s expression of support for this proposed conversion of its preferred stock is a significant step in Sterling’s capital recovery plan.”
Sterling’s recovery plan is expected to include a restructuring of its capital and liabilities. As such, Sterling has been actively engaged with two of its major stakeholders, the owners of its outstanding trust preferred securities, or TruPS, and Treasury, which holds preferred stock that Sterling issued as part of Treasury’s Capital Purchase Program and which was designed to support the health of the nation’s banking sector.
In its letter, Treasury set forth several conditions for its approval of the conversion of the Treasury-owned securities to common equity.
Circle Bank last week announced it completed the acquisition of property to house its headquarters at 999 Grant Ave. in Novato. The privately held bank did not disclose the purchase price.
[caption id="attachment_19518" align="alignleft" width="108" caption="Kim Kaselionis"][/caption]
“We are pleased that we can now begin the process to help create a downtown gateway,” said Kim Kaselionis, president and chief executive officer of the bank
Ms. Kaselionis said current plans call for a full-service Circle Bank branch, executive offices, retail space that will be leased to other tenants on the ground floor and a move in date of 2012.
Circle Bank, which had first proposed buying the site in 2002, has agreed to work from architectural design previously approved by the Novato Planning Commission.