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Local Stories by Local People
updated: Nov 30, 2012, 7:38 PM

About 45 percent of Santa Barbara Bank and Trust employees to be laid off.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 349040P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:08 PM

Hey Union Execs...buy our bank? fire our neighbors?....you are no longer my bank.....I cannot support this kind of banking terrorism. Time for everyone to pull thier money out of this company which is no longer local....and only out to make money off us, but not employ us.


 COMMENT 349045P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:21 PM

This is just so sad. I worked for SBB&T in the 1980s and it was a local bank, friendly and a great place to work. The 3 founders must be turning in their graves.


 COMMENT 349046 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:21 PM

The SBBT execs that worked this buyout had to have known that there would be hundreds of good people losing their jobs because of this. They may have felt bad, but I'm sure that if any of them were going to be on the chopping block their severance packages ensured that they will be able to pay their mortgages for quite a while.

As officers of the company their fiduciary duty is to the shareholders, not employees. A not-so-gentle reminder of how little corporations value their employees.


 COMMENT 349047P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:26 PM

Merry Xmas


 COMMENT 349048 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:29 PM

We have 5 accounts at SBB&T, for 5 properties we manage. On Monday those accounts will be closed and turned over to Montecito Bank & Trust.


 COMMENT 349054P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:39 PM

Wasn't it just a few months ago they said the impact would be minimal? I quit the bank when the buyout was announced. I knew Union Bank did not care about anything except profits.


 COMMENT 349057 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 08:46 PM

So the next local option is montecito bank and trust? Any others?

I've always had my accounts at sbbt, gona be a pain to move em but I am for local business. Sucks for the 45% wow that's rough.


 COMMENT 349065 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 09:04 PM

45% is almost 47%.


 COMMENT 349069P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 09:52 PM

I will close our personal and business accounts Monday - it feels like the right thing to do.


 COMMENT 349072P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 10:03 PM

I just wish that I had accounts at SBBT so I could close them. What a terrible way to announce their new presence.


 COMMENT 349074P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-30 10:58 PM

American Riviera Bank is also a local bank and the customer service is far better than either SBBT or Montecito Bank & Trust.


 ROGER DODGER agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:18 AM

Santa Barbara Bank and Trust was the friendlist bank in town when I got here. I never had a problem cashing a check there and I always got a lollie pop too! I will miss Santa Barbara Bank and Trust another piece of our town is gone traded in for Greed and decit, Welcome to PottersVille Merry Christmas!


 COMMENT 349091 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 06:44 AM

My wife worked for SBBT for nearly 12 years (in IT) but left six months ago. Even then working conditions had been excruciating at best; asked to do more work with less time as fellow employees left ahead of the inevitable. Management did NOT clearly communicate options for staff, even though George Leis seemed to take delight in announcing HE would have a job after. He and others continued to be awarded bonuses while the rest wondered when their jobs would end. My wife chose to leave a substantial severance pay behind in order to move on before these painful layoffs became reality; beat a sad rush.

Though these layoffs may have/should have been expected, the manner in which it was handled is miserable and unfortunately unsurprising. SBBT had been run by greedy bastards for years, why should the manner of its passing be any different?


 COMMENT 349106 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:37 AM

Yes, BIGGER IS BETTER, MONEY TRICKLES DOWN FROM THE TOP, YOUR BANKER IS YOUR FRIEND --it is the right time of the year for fairy tales but losing your job right before Christmas is reality, tragic and sad.


 COMMENT 349109 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:51 AM

Rich guys doing the usual Rich Guy stuff, to the detriment of regular people, as usual. I'm glad I closed my SBB&T accounts long ago. It used to be a good bank.


 COMMENT 349110P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 07:52 AM

And sadly the alternate could have been the bank going under completely and 100% of the employees losing their jobs. How soon we forget recent history.


 COMMENT 349117 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:19 AM

Wouldn't closing your accounts lead to more lay-offs?


 COMMENT 349118 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:25 AM

I use Business First for my bank. They are local and have really good customer service.


 COMMENT 349119 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:32 AM

Dear COMMENT 349110P,

It is very unlikely that SBB&T had no value with respect to 100% people losing their jobs due to the 'alternative' of being shuttered. In fact, there was a bidding process and Union Bank paid a high premium for the branch footprint, loyal customers, business accounts and the very valuable trust services. It is unfortunate that SBB&T bank executives & their private equity controllers made decision based on their own interests (golden parachutes) and dollar value offer, rather than synergies of other offers that would have better served the other bank shareholders and community.

I admit that there is redundancy in any acquisition that requires elimination, but 45% is outrageous. Union Bank may have shot themselves in the foot on this one for PR.


 COMMENT 349121 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:35 AM

There's a hidden message here for those who rail against unions and voted for the dastardly Prop 32 ... it's not unions, but corporations (sometimes named "Union") that are our enemies.


 STRAY agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:40 AM

Isn't what happened this week at SBB&T typical in free market capitalism, the system so many espouse when it works for their interests?


 COMMENT 349130P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 08:55 AM

19: Branch footprint and synergies? Seriously? Those words say it all. SBBT was a bank with real humans working for it, local ties, and history. It's not footprints or a set of synergies. Yikes, it's the mentality behind this sort of corporate gobbledygook and lingo that gets us where we are now.


 RAINE5360 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 09:00 AM

I wonder how these people can live with themselves. Merry Christmas? When will people learn that unions serve a purpose and corporations don't give a damn about people? I'm glad I don't bank there.


 COMMENT 349152 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 09:48 AM

TWOBITS- That's exactly what I was thinking. It's like when people sell their stocks in a panic, and it goes down more. I don't understand the logic. Do people want them to go completely out of business now?


 COMMENT 349158 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 09:57 AM

Knee jerk ....Oh im closing my accounts because i want to feel good about myself and bank local and im making a difference.....good luck with that, local people will still work there and you will damage more lives with your knee jerk


 COMMENT 349170 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:18 AM



 COMMENT 349187 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:36 AM

None of this should come as a surprise. The acquiring bank puts it's trusted people in in place of the acquired bank's personnel(some of whom may have been responsible for SBBT's near-collapse some years ago).

That having been said, I agree about supporting LOCAL banks....Bank of Santa Barbara, American Riveriera Bank and Montecito Bank and Trust--all good, all local.

Santa Barbara Bank and Trust has done a lot of great things for local charities, but clearly made some mis-steps which have resulted in Union Bank's takeover. It's a shame. Welcome to the new order.


 COMMENT 349195P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:50 AM

Our "local" bank ceased being a decent bank back in the 1990's as the whole Pacific Bancorp expansion started. Read up on what they did with Refund Anticipation Loans and other fee based schemes they ripped consumers off with there is a reason that their stock hit bottom, why they took TARP funds, and why they got taken over. The good people there were the ones customers dealt with glad they are keeping them, the management however deserves to lose their jobs. A few years ago there was some speculation that it was going to be a failed bank and the Feds would have been the ones taking it over.

Interesting that Union Bank is actually a Japanese Bank it started out as a California bank.


 COMMENT 349197P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 10:51 AM

Dear 119-

How quickly we forget recent history. The point of peril for the bank wasn't at the time of the Union Bank purchase, it was during the dark days prior to the Ford group purchase. At that time, there was serious concerns that the bank would go under. Customers were moving their accounts to other banks and the market was pricing SBBT's stock at below asset value. The was a very strong feeling at the time that the bank would be shuttered, taking all the jobs with it. The outcome isn't perfect, but it is better than it could have been. I too would have liked things to have turned out better for all those involved.


 COMMENT 349210 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 11:09 AM

Opened a new account at MBT yesterday. SBBTs problem was mortgages and the housing crisis, then taking tarp funds which only postponed the inevitable. MBT doesn't do mortgages so they came out OK- the benefits of a single shareholder instead of a crowd of shareholders with dollar signs in their eyes.

And Union Bank is owned by Mitsubishi-The Bank of Tokyo, so it's definitely not local.

Anyway, new year, new bank. Bye SBBT it was a good 25 year run.


 COMMENT 349217 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 11:24 AM

I will miss those Christmas treats they had each year, and the always warm welcome that went along with the cheery atmosphere. Sigh :(


 COMMENT 349277 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 02:59 PM

Every one on here is making it seem as though this came to a surprise for the employees and every body else. The announcement came out in March, and from that point on Union Bank and Santa Barbara Bank & Trust have been very transparent with what was going to happen. Most of the employees that are being laid off, have already known for some time that they were on the chopping block. Giving plenty of time for them to find a new job if they like. They are all receving decent severence packages along at least a 60day working notice (and if they don't NEED to work, they'll still be getting paid for that 60 days with vacation, benefits and 401(k) still being accrued)


 COMMENT 349278 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 03:00 PM

277 here again ....continued

This acquisition, in my opinion, is a good thing. Yes unfortunately, peoples jobs are being lost, but that's part of doing business. It doesn't make sense to keep people in your company if you already have a workforce that does what they do. Union Bank is going to be able to offer FAR MORE than what Santa Barbara Bank & Trust does today. And let's not forget, they are still going to keep the Community Partner Centers, for all the non-profits around town to have their meetings. They have an 'outstanding' in your CRA (lending and servicing lower income families), They donated enough money to be 'Diamond Sponsers' for our LOCAL Fiestas. AND contributed money already to our LOCAL United Way.


 COMMENT 349281 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 03:12 PM

I know a guy who works in the IT department for SBBT and he's known all along his whole dept was going to get the axe. This was not a surprise. He's ready.


 COMMENT 349291 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 03:49 PM

277; have you looked for jobs in SB lately? The 350 local layoffs will not find jobs fast and the severance will not last until they do in most cases. A basic rule of thumb for job seekers these days is for every $10k you earn it will add 30 days to your work search for a comparable job; ie, if you leave a job paying $30k yearly, it will take you 3 months to find a comparable position. 60 days, better than nothing, will not cover that, will it? And when you factor in there will now be 350 more job seekers in a small market the odds don't get better. And don't forget the severance is lost if you leave before the bitter end.

Union Bank may offer more services, but the back office supporting those services will be working out of East LA. Would you want to move there and work? Maybe so; the appalling lack of concern for your neighbors here might help you fit in there. Help you stay closer to your home town bank.


 COMMENT 349297 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 04:32 PM

We pulled our 2 accounts out of SB Bank a few weeks ago. We had been customers for 25 years. What a shame.


 COMMENT 349299 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 04:44 PM

@277, don't preach what you don't know. A lot of employees didn't know they were getting laid off, and even some that I knew were told they were safe until this last week when all of a sudden they didn't have a job. Others were told they would have a job if they were willing to relocate, and even some of those relocation jobs disappeared this week. It was NOT transparent except for departments that would obviously get cut, like IT and the call center.


 COMMENT 349306 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-01 05:30 PM

Well, at least we are going to have another bank " too big to fail."


 COMMENT 349547 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 04:43 PM

I don't get all this attachment to retail banks. Private banks, no matter what pr spin they use, are in business to take your money for the lowest interest rate they can finagle, and lend it out for the highest. Of course it stinks when employees are laid off, but banks are in business to make money, not fulfill Obama's socialist dreams.


 COMMENT 349600 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-02 08:04 PM

Yep, 547, concern about how your neighbors are treated is a socialist conspiracy propagated by Obama's domestic policy. Hey...is that your phone ringing? Better answer it; probably George Leis reaching out to you. Wants to share a cup of Tea while the two of you plan a Party.


 COMMENT 349721 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 10:48 AM

If you local busines owners who have accounts at SBBT are seriously thinking of moving your accounts for the simple (but noble) principle that you want to support a locally owned community bank, may I suggest you all visit Bank of Santa Barbara on Figueroa and State St?
They're the only bank in town that hold the Santa Barbara name in its title!!!!


 COMMENT 349744P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-03 12:12 PM

Over the last 40 years I have had a number of accounts at many of the local banks, including SBBT. I rarely have had problems with any of them, but recently I had several difficulties with Montecito Bank & Trust at the downtown branch. I no longer have accounts there and would not recommend them because of terrible customer service.


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