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Umpqua Bank starts wildfire fund to help provide short-term loans

Umpqua Bank, which recently merged with Sterling Financial, has started a Wildfire Relief Lending Program to help customers in parts of Washington and Oregon hit hard by wildfires.

The new fund allows Umpqua customers who reside in area under voluntary or mandatory evacuation to receive rapid access to personal loans up to $2,500. The loans will help customers take care of immediate needs including short-term living expenses, generators for power and other immediate needs. Loan approvals are subject minimum credit requirements.

“Communities throughout the Umpqua footprint are currently facing one of the worst wildfire seasons in recent history and we wanted to do something to help,” said Ray Davis, Umpqua Bank president and CEO. “We realize that customers in Brewster and the surrounding areas have been deeply affected by the Carlton Complex fire, with some forced to evacuate with virtually no notice, and many customers in Burns, Oregon, have been seriously impacted. We’ve created this emergency lending program to provide quick, low-cost access to funds to support customers’ immediate needs.”

 

 

No Spokane branches of Sterling Bank will close, says Umpqua

None of Sterling Bank’s nine area branches will be closed during a round of reductions now taking place as Umpqua Bank begins aligning operations in the wake of its takeover of Sterling.

Bank officers are closing 27 branches across Washington, Oregon and California during the next several months. Those closures – including 13 branches in Washington along with seven each in Oregon and California – are occurring where both Umpqua and Sterling had branches within a few miles of each other, said company spokeswoman Eve Callahan.

Umpqua finished its purchase of Sterling two months ago in a $2 billion stock deal. The nearest Sterling closures to Spokane will be two Tri-Cities branches and one in Clarkston, Callahan said.

The two closed Tri-Cities Sterling branches were located inside Wal-Marts, she said.

In some cases the closed branch was an Umpqua operation, and in others it was a Sterling branch, she said.

In the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, two branches were within 500 feet, she said. In that case, an Umpqua branch will be folded into the nearby Sterling branch.

The exact number of jobs lost has not yet been settled, Callahan said. No more branch closures are anticipated during 2014, she said.

 

We lost a corporate headquarters with Umpqua merger, but the new bank looks solid

While some may lament the loss of another company headquarters in the merger of Umpqua and Sterling banks, the good news is the new bank combines Sterling's solid lineup of strong departments with a bank widely considered an innovator in the financial services area.

Saturday's SR story on the merger noted the merger is now official.

Both banks in fact have been listed by Forbes magazine on its list of most respected U.S. banks.

In 2012 the bank listed Umpqua Holdings Corp. as the top-rated Oregon bank. It landed at 28 overall on the list.

Forbes used several criteria to devise the rankings, including profits, bad loans and several measures of capital.

Sterling was ranked No. 40 on the same list.

Photo credit: Dan Pelle for The Spokesman-Review

 

 

Sterling employees start looking toward their future with Umpqua

We'll be asking what the actual headcount reduction will be, following today's announcement that the Umpqua Bank merger with Sterling Bank has cleared all hurdles.

The first signs of the deal will be Sterling’s regional signs being replaced by Umpqua Bank signs the weekend of April 18 and continuing for the next 10 weeks.

Portland-based Umpqua will gain a financial services foothold in Eastern Washington. It is considered Oregon’s largest bank.

It’s paying about $1.9 billion in stock for Sterling, which has around 650 area workers and more than 2,600 across the service area, which includes Idaho, Oregon and California.

Sterling has 176 branches in those states and in Washington.

“We’ll be the largest community bank on the West Coast and the 34th largest community bank in the country,” Coon noted.

Sterling CEO Greg Seibly will stay with the company, previous news releases have said.

Merging with Sterling gives Umpqua roughly $22 billion in assets and almost 400 total branches.

Coon said the merger will result in the loss of some area Sterling positions. The full scope of that reduction is still being determined, she said.

Area’s second-largest business story for 2013: Umpqua buys Sterling Bank

Today's post: The No. 2 business story of the year for the Spokane North Idaho area.

Last week we posted No. 3, the widespread credit card breach connected to area grocery stores.

No. 2 is the acquisition of Spokane's largest home-based bank, Sterling Financial by Oregon-based Umpqua Bank. Our earlier story on the acquisition ran on Sept. 11, 2013.

Tomorrow, Dec. 31, we list the No. 1 business story for 2013.  Because of our pick-the-top-story contest, the final story will determine who wins the SR OfficeHours $10 coffee card.

 

 

Sterling share price did show a large spike several days before Umpqua deal

The day after Sterling Financial announced it's being taken over by Portland-based Umpqua Bank, here's one graphic that raises questions about who knew about the merger early-on.

The story of the announcement ran in the Sept. 12 Spokesman Review and online.

The graphic here shows a 30-day chart of the public share prices of Sterling vs. Umpqua vs. a regional community bank, PacWest Bank. All trade on the Nasdaq. Sterling is green, Umpqua is blue.

Sterling's stock shows the most impressive jump, and that has led some lurkers and outsiders to wonder who got advance word of the deal.  The Great Stock Price Leap occurs from Aug. 21 through Aug. 24.

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Sterling to acquire three branches of Boston Private in Puget Sound

To read the complete story, go to Spokesman.com later Monday evening or read it in Tuesday's printed editions.

Spokane’s Sterling Savings Bank has purchased the Puget Sound operations of publicly traded Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc.

Boston Private, a national financial services group that owns wealth management and private bank affiliates in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, has operated three branches in the Seattle area.

It acquired the branches in Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond in 2007 from financially distressed Charter Bank.

Sterling Savings CFO Patrick Rusnak said the acquisition made sense for both sides; Boston Private felt the branches were too distant from its East Coast offices; and Sterling considers Seattle one of its prime areas for continuing growth.

Sterling currently has 15 branches in the greater Seattle area, including in Bellevue and Redmond, Rusnak said.

One of Sterling Bank’s Seattle branches is in the same building as Boston Private’s, Rusnak said.

Sterling will pay about $96 million, Rusnak said, which covers an $11 million “premium” and the difference between the branches’ total loans and deposits.

The sale is expected to close in the first half of 2013 pending regulatory review.