Colleen Atkinson to Head California Bank of Commerce Professional Banking Division

Oakland, CA., June 29, 2018 — California BanCorp (OTCQX:CALB), the holding company for California Bank of Commerce, a San Francisco Bay Area business bank, today announced that industry veteran and former executive Colleen Atkinson will return as Executive Vice President to lead its new Professional Banking Division. The Professional Banking Division provides custom liquidity and credit solutions to clients in the legal, accounting, insurance and not-for-profit industries.

“We are very excited to welcome Colleen back to California Bank of Commerce to head up the Professional Banking Division,” said California Bank of Commerce President and CEO Steven E. Shelton. “She understands the importance of digging below the surface and truly understanding the challenges and needs of professional services firms to ensure California Bank of Commerce is their trusted advisory partner.”

Ms. Atkinson has more than 25 years of experience in corporate banking, with an emphasis in deposit and treasury services; debt financing; investment advisory and securities trading; and risk management and analytics. Most recently, she was a Senior Corporate Banking Manager at HSBC Bank USA, N.A. where she focused on mid-corporate banking. From 2012-2017, she served as a Senior Vice President for California Bank of Commerce. Continue reading

First Choice Bancorp Added to the Russell 3000 and Russell 2000 Indexes

Cerritos, California, June 26, 2018 (Globe Newswire) — (Nasdaq Capital Markets: FCBP) – First Choice Bancorp, the holding company for First Choice Bank (the “Bank,” collectively, “First Choice”) announced it was added to the Russell 3000® Index and the Russell 2000® Index when Russell investments reconstituted its comprehensive set of U.S. and global equity indexes after closing on June 22, 2018.

“Being added to the Russell indexes is a milestone for First Choice, and we are happy to have earned this distinction,” said Robert Franko, President and CEO of First Choice.  “Inclusion in these market benchmarks is expected to raise our profile with institutional investors and support trading of our shares.”

Peter Hui, the Chairman of First Choice, stated, “We set ourselves on a path last year to achieve this honor. Our Board and all of our colleagues have worked very diligently to get to this position. From our founding in 2005 until today, we have always strived to do what is best for our shareholders, our clients and our employees.”

The Russell indexes are widely used by investment managers and institutional investors for both index funds and as benchmarks for passive and active investment strategies. In the U.S. marketplace, almost all of the U.S. equity assets are benchmarked by the Russell 3000, representing more than $8.5 trillion. The Company will hold its membership until FTSE Russell reconstitutes its indexes in June 2019. Membership in the Russell indexes remains in place for one year and automatically provides inclusion in the appropriate Russell growth and value style indexes. FTSE Russell determines membership for these indexes primarily by objective, market-capitalization rankings. Continue reading

2018 US Bank Market Report Executive Summary

Summary: Additional margin expansion lies ahead for the US banking industry. That expansion, coupled with lower corporate tax, should allow profitability to nearly reach pre-crisis levels.

• Rising interest rates will support stronger net interest margins at U.S. banks, but tax reform will offer a bigger earnings boost in 2018 and push returns on equity well into the double-digits, even against elevated capital levels.
• In our baseline scenario, which does not include the impact of an upcoming change in banks’ reserve methodology, returns on average assets and average equity will expand due to a lower corporate tax rate and interest rate increases, pushing the industry’s ROAA and ROAE as high as 1.25% and 11.29%, respectively, in 2019. But credit costs will rise shortly thereafter and serve as a considerable earnings headwind to the industry.
• Asset quality should remain strong in the near term, with tax cuts supporting the current credit cycle. However, the rush to lever tax reform’s windfall will spark more intense competition for loans, preventing yields from rising to previously expected levels.
• Before credit quality sours, banks will start seeing more significant increases in deposit costs. Deposit betas, or the percentage of rate increases that institutions pass on to their customers, rose modestly in 2017 and should double in 2018 as the market digests higher interest rates and banks’ funding needs grow.
• Competition will increase as the Trump administration achieves some level of regulatory relief, which could eventually lead to a slippage in underwriting standards. Less prudent lending practices could coincide with further increases in interest rates, causing more borrowers to default.
• The adoption in 2020 of a new accounting standard that changes the way banks reserve for loan losses could come right as credit quality begins to turn.
• That accounting standard, dubbed the Current Expected Credit Loss model, or CECL, will result in a sizable, onetime capital hit for the banking industry.
• Most banks should have ample capital to withstand the blow, but CECL could slow balance sheet growth as some institutions raise rates on loans, while others look to rebuild their capital bases.

Authors: Nathan Stovall, Chris Vanderpool

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