Pacific Capital Bancorp shareholders are confused.
When the Santa Barbara, Calif., company merged with Santa Barbara Bancorp last year, it retained the Pacific Capital moniker but took Santa Barbara's ticker symbol.
"Our president was receiving calls from shareholders asking if they are eligible for the dividend," said Donald LaFler, Pacific Capital's chief financial officer. "We didn't know what they were talking about."
It seems an unrelated banking company-PanAmerican Bancorp in Hauppauge, N.Y.-got Pacific Capital's former ticker symbol when it began trading on the Over-The-Counter Bulletin Board in March.
Because many Internet search engines and financial Web sites use ticker symbols to index corporate information, some shareholders were mistaking news released by PanAmerican as information about Pacific Capital.
"Some shareholders mistakenly purchased shares in the wrong bank," said Mr. LaFler.
Both companies issued statements last week to head off more misunderstandings. Pacific Capital has also notified Nasdaq officials so they can alert brokers to the confusion, Mr. LaFler said.
When the Independent Bankers Association of America changed its name to Independent Community Bankers Association last month, its acronym also changed. IBAA became ICBA.
The move forced state trade group affiliates around the country to consider whether their names should also include the word "Community."
But at the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, or BAT, the answer was simple.
"We'd be COMBAT," quipped president and chief executive Christopher L. Williston.
Earnings were up 10% last year at National Penn Bancshares, but the real buzz at the company's annual meeting this week was generated by the dumplings-not net income.
For the 47th consecutive year, the Boyertown, Pa., company treated shareholders to dinner at their annual meeting. The $2.1 billion-asset company served a traditional Pennsylvania Dutch-style chicken dinner to the 800 attending in the banquet hall of a local fire department.
This year's dinner, though, had a special twist. In honor of National Penn Bank's 125th birthday, slices of a giant yellow sheet cake with white frosting were dished out.