Exchange Bank restores dividend, Doyle scholarship in 2013

[caption id="attachment_60350" align="alignleft" width="289"] Frank Chong, Bill Schrader[/caption]

Exchange Bank will resume its regular quarterly shareholder dividend, a first step towards restoring the iconic Doyle scholarship that has been awarded to more than 100,000 students attending Santa Rosa Junior College since it was enacted in 1948.

The bank's board of directors voted to resume the dividend during its regular meeting today. Exchange Bank suspended its dividend during the height of the financial crisis in 2008, and was prevented from restoring payments by rules connected to the $45 million in funds it received through the U.S. Department of the Treasury's Troubled Asset Relief Program, widely known as TARP.

Treasury sold its stake in Exchange Bank for $39.7 million in July, freeing the bank from restrictions connected to those funds.

The Doyle Scholarship, suspended along with the dividend, is expected to be restored in the fall semester of 2013, said Frank Chong, president of Santa Rosa Junior College.

"Today marks a major milestone in our comeback. It is a very positive step for both the bank and the community, and we are very grateful for the steady support we have received from our dedicated employees and our loyal customers," said William Schrader, president and CEO of Exchange Bank.

Per an agreement with Treasury, buyers of those securities, which could include Exchange Bank itself, are currently confidential, said Bruce DeCrona, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the bank.

The quarterly dividend of 25 cents per common stock, the first in four years, will be payable on Sept. 21 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 7.

Mr. Schrader said that payment represented a "practical first step," balancing Exchange Bank's desire to maintain a high level of capital while restoring the much-anticipated dividend.


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