The nation's newest bankers' bank is on track for success.
Just over two months after opening its doors, San Francisco-based Pacific Coast Bankers Bank is raking in business from more than 20 shareholder banks across the state.
The $4 million-asset bank already has $30 million in loan participations in the pipeline; in one recent week it traded $90 million in overnight federal funds. Most of the 30 shareholders are already taking advantage of its products and services, and the bank says half a dozen banks that don't hold shares are potential customers.
"The word of mouth is getting out there," said president and chief executive officer R. Albert Roensch. "As people hear from their neighbors and buddies across the state, they're doing more and more with us. I didn't expect miracles the first quarter, but I'm ecstatic over the amount of overnight trading that we're doing."
"We're very satisfied with it," said Sandra Hartfield, executive vice president of Palm Desert National Bank, a stockholder. "It's something that's great for California, and we're looking forward to using them in the future."
Off-balance-sheet activity has also been strong. Banks from both Northern California and the Los Angeles area are taking advantage of the bank's arrangement with San Francisco-based Pacific Bank to provide international finance capabilities.
In fact, the bankers' bank has been able to pass discounts along to its customers because of the volume of business with Pacific.
"We're a big fan of theirs," said Garrett W. Lambert, chief financial officer of $82 million-asset Golden Gate Bank in San Francisco, also a shareholder. "They offer a lot more of other services that we haven't used yet but we expect to use down the road. They're filling a niche that has been underserved by some of the larger correspondent banks in the state."
The bankers' bank has also arranged discounts for its customers of 40% to 50% on long-distance phone service with MCI as well as on flood-zone certification from a Pennsylvania firm.
And the bank's customers can offer leasing products through a leasing company and use Montgomery Securities as a sponsored broker-dealer.
"We're not sitting on our duff, and we're not hurting for business," Mr. Roensch said. "This is where I completely underestimated our endorsed product activity."
In late February, about 50 bankers and 10 vendors showed up at a technology forum in Los Angeles sponsored by Pacific Coast. "We really got good vibes out of the people who showed up," Mr. Roensch said.