On a Friday, a businessman called California Republic Bank in Newport Beach, asking for a loan of a few million dollars so he could pay cash to close a highly profitable deal early the next week.
The bank executive, who had a longtime relationship with the client, worked through the weekend and had loan documents ready Monday and delivered the money Tuesday.
“He could count on us to close, and we got him the loan, and he made a lot of money. And he paid us a fair interest rate so it was a win-win,” says California Republic Vice Chairman John DeCero. “We know our clients, and we can react in hours – not in days and weeks.”
This kind of customer service has made California Republic Bank the ninth largest bank based in Orange County in only its third year.
To get a glimpse at the institution’s meteorite rise, just look at its third-quarter figures: total assets of $329.3 million, a 55 percent increase over the same period in 2009; and total deposits of $260.2 million, a 56 percent increase over the same period in 2009.
The bank – launched in 2007 with $52 million in capital – reports to be the largest independent, full-service commercial bank formed in California. The money came from about 300 private investors who had previous banking experience with the management and board members of California Republic. Most of the backers also committed to bring their own banking and lending relationships to the bank. “We’ve been in business for three years, but the majority of the team has been in banking for a long time and (has) deep relationships with our customers,” says Jon Wilcox, bank president.
This long-time banking history – and extensive profiles on customers’ finances and business goals – has allowed California Republic to swiftly react to clients’ needs without making risky loans. To date, it boasts a clean portfolio, with no underperforming loans and not even a late payment.