Tri Counties Bank opens loan office in Pasadena


Rick Smith, President, President and CEO of Tri-Counties Bank of Chico.

TriCo Bancshares, based in Chico, establishes itself in Los Angeles County with the opening of a loan production center.

The credit production center is generally seen as a first step before a bank makes an acquisition in a geographic area.

“Usually what happens is we open a loan production office and eventually it will become a branch, but that’s usually after we have a certain number of clients,” said Rick Smith. , Chairman and CEO of Tri Counties, the banking business unit of TriCo Bancshares.

Smith said plans are to eventually turn the production center into a major lending center for commercial real estate loans, and then eventually acquire a commercial bank to complete his new foray.

“It’s a bit early (for an acquisition) because we want to make sure we can establish an identity there. … It’s about the relationship of trust, and you can’t just buy that. But you can earn it. We’re in the earning phase right now, and assuming we were successful, that would definitely create another opportunity, ”said Smith.

“There’s going to be ongoing bank consolidation, and there’s usually a drop in customers who may not be the way the acquirer does business. This could create additional mergers and acquisitions for us, ”he added.

Tri Counties opened the loan center in August, along with other offices in Irvine and San Diego, Smith said.

Tri Counties, an institution with $ 8.1 billion in assets and one of California’s largest community banks, is an acquisition bank. Earlier this summer, it also announced its intention to acquire Valley Republic Bancorp in Bakersfield.

The Valley Republic acquisition project in the northern LA County suburb of Kern County would represent the fifth of Tri counties in a decade. Smith said he expects his latest acquisition to close before the end of 2021.

Tri Counties has previously looked to buy banks outside of California in border states like Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, but finding one that matches the bank’s community banking profile has become a challenge.

“We’re watching, and we’ve been serious about it. But it’s getting harder and harder to find one, ”Smith said.

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