South Valley National Bank has name change in its future - Gilroy Dispatch: Community

South Valley National Bank has name change in its future

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Posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 12:00 am

Pacific Capital Bankcorp, parent company for the South Valley National Bank branches in Gilroy and Morgan Hill, announced future plans to consolidate its local bank names to Santa Barbara Bank & Trust.

The announcement was in conjunction with the company announcing Wednesday that the San Benito Bank branch in downtown Hollister will move from its location at 530 San Benito St. to 650 San Benito St. at some point in the spring.

Local branches include a South Valley National Bank branch in Gilroy, two South Valley National Bank branches in Morgan Hill and San Benito Bank branches in Hollister and San Juan Bautista.

Debbie Whiteley, Pacific Capital Bankcorp public affairs director, said the time frame has not been set to change the names for the Gilroy and Morgan Hill branches.

In the spring, the three branches that have operated under the brand name San Benito Bank will begin operations under the Santa Barbara Bank & Trust name.

When asked about the name change and how it would affect customers familiar with a local bank name, George S. Leis – Pacific Capital Bancorp president and chief operating officer – said the employees and customers he talked to were excited about the change.

"We talked a lot about that," Leis said Wednesday. "We heard there was some confusion. Customers traveling up and down (Highway) 101 didn't know they could use our other branches."

The Hollister branch move comes eight months after the Santa Barbara-based parent company was acquired by Ford Financial Fund, a private equity firm operated by billionaire Gerald Ford, according to Securities Exchange Commission filings released in May and the Wall Street Journal.

Pacific Capital Bancorp, with $6.3 billion in assets, is a nationally chartered bank that operates 47 branches in eight California counties.

Leis said he was excited to align the various brand names that have operated under the Pacific Capital umbrella.

"As it relates to the culture of our company, everything stays the same. " Leis said.

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