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Ojai Community Bank says consent order outlook positive
by Misty Volaski for the Ojai Valley News
September 7, 2011 —Ojai Community Bank recently released what it called good news for its second quarter with "sustained prof-itability, improved credit quality and stable deposit levels," according to a press release.
Bank president Dave Brubaker said after overhead and salaries, the bank was left with a profit of $516,000 for thesecond quarter, and total assets areapproximately $125 million.
A consent order was issued to OCB back in March by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, asking that the bank address several aspects of its business to ensure its strength and continued growth.
"Consent orders are designed to assist, not penalize," said Brubaker. "We're on track with the things they laid out in the order. Specifically, one of the requirements was to put together a plan to decrease the problem loans, so we've put one together and are executing it so that the problem loans are lower than they were before. We're quite pleased with the success of that." The press release adds: "The bank has been working diligently to resolve issues and manage the loan portfolio. We partner with our customers to find mutually beneficial restructured payment plans and in many cases our borrowers were able to catch up and become current on their payments...since Dec. 21, 2010, the bank has reduced its problem assets by 45 percent."
Brubaker went on to say that OCB has met all its FDIC consent order due dates thus far, and believes the next one coming up—increasing the bank's capital ratio to 10 percent by Sept. 30—is reachable. "I'm confident...we've begun the process to achieve that goal," he said, adding that these are his opinions. As of June 30, he added, the ratio was 8.8 percent, and has gone upsince then. "The minimum capital ratio is 5 percent, so we're way below that. Our risk profile is lower today than it was a year ago ... We've made great progress, and understand the stock market is really volatile ... but I am very satisfied with where the bank is. To see our credit rating improving is great."
When questioned whether the late 2008 acquisition of OCB's two Santa Paula branches (Santa Paula Community Bank) put a strain on the bank's resources, Brubaker said, "That transaction is working very well for us."
"It's producing positive earnings and the credit quality is very good. That was actually a very good transaction for us." The community has been supportive since the consent order was issued, Brubaker added. "They've been great. We're here in the community to work with people so that everyone can ride the storm out together. And we have a lot of positive things going on right now that I can't comment on yet."
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