No changes until fall for Union, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust


The announcement that Union Bank is acquiring Santa Barbara Bank & Trust in a $1.5 billion deal today returned a “business as usual” response from both representatives from each corporation.

“We will continue to run our bank right now,” said Debbie Whiteley, public affairs director for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, “and (Union) will continue to run their bank.”

Whiteley, along with Union Bank spokesman Dan Weidman, said each branch in Gilroy would see no changes until the fourth quarter, so as early as October.

The acquisition by Union Bank – a significantly larger institution than Santa Barbara Bank & Trust with 414 branches nationwide and 300 in California – is a testament to the hard work by Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s employees, Whiteley said Monday. Union is California’s fourth largest bank based on deposits, according to measurements by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

“Clients are going to have more of the community service and responsible participation because Union Bank provides more community support, even than us. The convenience is going to be fantastic for all customers,” Whiteley said pointing out that Santa Barbara Bank & Trust currently has 47 branches (Gilroy’s is located at 8000 Santa Teresa Blvd.) with 79 ATM machines – quite a difference from Union which boasts 414 branches and 619 ATMs.

Neither Whiteley nor Weidman would speculate as to the future of each bank’s building in Gilroy or if consolidation to one location was imminent; both said the process was in its infancy and not yet finalized so possible changes for employees or customers have not been discussed.

“It’s business as usual for the better part of the year here,” Weidman said. Customers were alerted to the acquisition and as changes roll in they and the public will be notified, Whiteley said.

Formerly known as South Valley National Bank in Gilroy, Santa Barbara Bank & Trust’s umbrella holding company Pacific National Bancorp consolidated five of its bank franchises in July 2011. This included changing the name to banks in Gilroy, Morgan Hill, Hollister and San Luis Obispo. It’s uncertain if the name will change again.

Union Bank is located at 805 1st Street and has been in Gilroy since 1925.

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