“Bank Lending on the Hot Seat” panel features top Northern California banking executives.

Richmond, CA, December 22, 2009 -- Mechanics Bank CEO Steven Buster will join top executives of U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo in a panel discussion, “Bank Lending on the Hot Seat: What Lies Ahead?” sponsored by the Commonwealth Club of California and the Saint Mary’s College Graduate Business Alumni Chapter.

The event takes place Wednesday, January 27, 2010 from 5:30 to 7:30 at the Commonwealth Club offices at 595 Market Street in San Francisco.

Tom Cleveland, Transamerica Professor of Finance at Saint Mary’s College, will moderate the discussion, which addresses the future of credit and bank lending for businesses and individuals, what new products, regulations, restrictions and risks the public can expect, and how banks are changing their ways in the wake of the recent crisis in the financial sector.

Buster is joined on the panel by Michael Walker, President, Northern California, of U.S. Bank, and Perry Pelos, Executive Vice President of Wells Fargo and group head of the Western Division of Wells Fargo National Commercial Banking, which serves middle market businesses with annual revenues between $10 and $750 million.

The event is open to the public. Commonwealth Club members pay $8 and non-members $15; Saint Mary’s students pay $7.

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About Mechanics Bank:

For more than a century, Mechanics Bank has been committed to helping people build prosperous communities as a trusted financial partner, forging lasting relationships through teamwork, respect and integrity. The $2.7 billion independent bank, headquartered in Richmond, California, offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 33 offices across Northern California. For more information, please visit

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