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2008 News Archive


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Mechanics Bank Not Burdened by Subprime Loans - Steven Buster presides over Mechanics Bank, a 103-year-old institution that has been relatively unscathed by the collapse of the credit bubble that has plunged the financial industry and the nation into its worst crisis since the Great Depression. To read the full article, Click Here

Greenbankingcentral.com - 12/2/2008 - MECHANICS BANK WORKING TO BE COMPLETELY GREEN Mechanics Bank and Rauly Butler are featured in an article about encouraging banks to go green.

RICHMOND, CA, November 21, 2008 -  MECHANICS BANK SUPPORTS NBC-KIWANIS FOOD DRIVE:Food collection at Bay Area Lucky and SaveMart Stores November 22nd Mechanics Bank employees will be out in force Saturday, November 22nd to support a Kiwanis Food Drive in partnership with NBC-11, Lucky Stores, and SaveMart. NBC weatherman John Farley also will visit several of the Lucky stores during the day. Kiwanis members will be collecting any non-perishable food items, and donors also can purchase a $10 or $20 prepackaged bag of groceries to donate. "The need is greater this year than we've seen in more than a decade," said Alexis O'Kelley, Senior Credit Analyst at Mechanics Bank, who currently serves as president of the Walnut Creek Kiwanis Club. "We want to do all we can to help people though these tough times. Please join us in showing that our communities care."

SFGate - 11/1/2008 - BANKS EASE CREDIT FOR THEMSELVES, BUT NOT FOR YOU. Steven Buster, President and CEO of Mechanics Bank, talks about the tighting of credit standards

USA Today - 11/1/2008 - LOSS OF CONFIDENCE IN BANKS CAUSES HUGE SHIFT IN DEPOSITS. Customers from large financial institutions are moving their deposits to smaller, local bank like Mechanics.

SFGate.com - 10/29/2008 - BANKS GET FED PRESSURE WITH THEIR $125 BILLION. Mike Popovich, SVP at Mechanics Bank, comments on how big an impact the lending power of smaller banks might have on the current financial crisis.

Marin Independent Journal - 10/23/2008 - DEBT IS THE VILLAIN IN CREDIT CRUNCH. Brian Pretti was one of five speakers to address the San Rafael Chamber of Commerce economic forecast conference.

San Francisco Business Journal - 10/20/2008 - MECHANICS BANK MOVES BRANCH OUT OF OLD PINOLE. Mechanics Bank moved from its downtown location in Old Pinole to the new shopping center on Pinole Valley Road.

San Francisco Business Journal - 10/10/2008 - PLANNING SENSE ADDS DOLLARS TO CHARITABLE GIVING. Carol O'Neil from Mechanics Bank is featured in this article about providing donors a bigger bang for their charitable bucks.

Marketwatch.com - 07/17/2008 - WISHFUL THINKING ASIDE, IT'S A RECESSION FOLKS. Brian Pretti, chief financial strategist for Mechanics Bank, speaks about the state of the economy.

East Bay Business Times - 07/14/2008 - A CONVERSATION WITH MECHANICS BANK CEO STEVE BUSTER.. Read the recent interview with Mechanics Bank President and CEO, Steve Buster.

Contra Costa Times - 06/09/2008 - OUR NEIGHBORS. Mechanics Bank wins corporate sponsorship for the 17th annual Cruisin' In The Sun classic car show.

SFgate.com - 06/08/2008 - IT'S BECOMING MUCH EASIER TO GO GREEN. Rauly Butler talks about the process he took to get employees to work on being "greener".

East Bay Business Times - 06/06/2008 - MECHANICS BANK EXPANDS IN LAMORINDA. Mechanics Bank is opening its third office in the Lamorinda area. The new Lafayette office is set to open in July.

Napa Valley Register - 05/28/2008 - COMMUNITY AWARDS A 'FAMILY' AFFAIR. Mechanics Bank's employees among community contributors honored at the Annual Napa Valley Community Awards Luncheon.

Napa Valley Register - 05/26/2008 - COUNTY RECOGNIZES CERTIFIED GREEN BUSINESSES. Mechanics Bank's Napa office is recognized after being certified "Green".

North Bay Business Times - 05/12/2008 - . WHO'S WHO IN PRIVATE BANKING AND WEALTH MANAGEMENT. Mechanics Bank's Thomas Kawazoe is named among the "who's who" in Private Banking and Wealth Management.

San Francisco Business Times - 05/02/2008 - SMALL BUSINESSES NOW FIND FUNDS FOR FOREIGN FORAY. Mike Popovich of the San Franicsco office of Mechanics Bank comments on reasons for offering foreign currency exchange services in view of the dollar's recent fall.

S.F. Chronicle - 05/01/2008 - FED CUTS KEY INTEREST RATES AS ECONOMY FALLS. Brian Pretti, Chief Investment Officer for Mechanics Bank, comments on recent interest rates cuts and its possible effect on the economy.

The Advocate - 04/30/2008 - 'SUCCESS' EVENT EMPHASIZES PREPAREDNESS IN JOB SEARCH. Erwin Reeves serves on a panel to discuss obtaining successful jobs.

dBusiness News.com - 04/10/2008 - RICHARD LEHMAN APPOINTED AS DIRECTOR OF EMPLOYEE BENEFIT TRUST AT MECHANICS BANK. Richard Lehman's new role will involve managing and leveraging the Bank's extensive trust and investment expertise to expand the business within the Bank's footprint from San Francisco to Sacramento.

BizJournal.com - 04/03/2008 - MECHANICS BANK NAMED IN LIST TOP BANKS IN THE EAST BAY. Mechanics Bank is included in Finley's list of premier performing banks.

Sacramento Business Journal - 03/28/2008 MECHANICS BANK BOARD MEMBER NAMED CFO OF THE YEAR. Patricia Cochran, CFO of VSP and Mechanics Bank Board Member, was name CFO of the year for large companies.

North Bay Business Times - 03/24/2008 - INVESTMENT STRATEGIES: Investment chief talks about credit, housing, oil prices. Mechanics Bank's Brian Pretti is interviewed by the North Bay Business Times reporter about the state of the economy.

Roseville Press-Tribune - 03/04/2008 - ROSEVILLE COMPANIES GO FOR THE GREEN. Mechanics Bank is one of the companies featured in this article about its effort with regard to the Sacramento Sustainable Business program.

Sacramento Business Journal - 03/04/2008 - TOM KASSIS HAS BEEN APPOINTED SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT. Tim Kassis has been appointed to senior vice president and corporate banking manager at The Mechanics Bank, a full-service bank offering the complete range of consumer, small-business, corporate and wealth-management products and services. He oversees the bank’s operations in the Sacramento region, including small-business and commercial real estate lending activities. He has more than 19 years of experience and was senior vice president and manager at Wells Fargo for the real estate group in Sacramento.

San Francisco Chronicle - 03/04/2008 - RECORD LOW BAY AREA BUSINESS CONFIDENCE. Steven Buster, President and CEO of Mechanics Bank, comments in this article about how Bay Area business leaders are feeling the chill as the economy cools down.

San Francisco Business Times - 02/22/2008 - WOO POTENTIAL LENDERS WITH DEPOSITS AND PRODUCTS. Mike Popovich, Corporate Banking Manager in the Mechanics Bank San Francisco office, is featured in this article about business loans and relationship banking.

San Francisco Business Times - 02/20/08 - SURVEY: COMMUNITY BANKS SEE MERGERS AS KEY TO GROWTH. This article about community banks and mergers, attributes one of the reasons for The Mechanics Bank's strength and stability in the current financial environment, to the long tenure of its employees.

Contra Costa Times - 02/14/08 - MECHANICS' PROFIT DEFIES BANK TRENDS. As larger firms struggled with subprime mortgages, Richmond-based financial institution did well in 2007.

Contra Costa Times - 01/26/08 - MECHANICS BANK IN PITTSBURG IS NAMED "BUSINESS OF THE YEAR." With just two years in the Old Pittsburg downtown area, The Mechanics Bank has been chosen as the Business of The Year!

El Dorado Hills Telegraph - 01/23/08 - ATM WARS: LOCAL BANK DROP SURCHARGE FEES. The Mechanics Bank's ATM Surcharge Rebate program is highlighted in this article about how some local banks are bucking the trend of charging ever more-onerous fee demands: particularly that of charging non-customers a fee for using their cash withdrawal machines.

East Bay Business Times - 01/11/08 -IT'S ALL IN THE FAMILY - Benefits and challenges for an East Bay family-controlled bank.

The Business Times article briefly chronicles the history of The Mechanics Bank, and, particularly, Eddie Downer III's many odd jobs therein. Starting at the age of 10, Mr. Downer used to "roll the calendars the bank gave to customers at Christmas", the article mentions. Deborah Downer Abono is quoted as saying, "If I heard it once, I heard it a million times- if you take care of the mployees, they will take care of the customers"- something she and Eddie had been indoctrinated with by their father, E.M. Downer, Jr., from a very young age. This motto, passed down through the generations has worked - The Mechanics Bank has grown into an institution with nearly $3 billion in assts and is one of the largest independent banks in California, so says the article. Member of the fourth generation of the founding family and longtime board member, Dianne Daiss Felton, is quoted as saying, "I feel very strongly that (the family stake) is a responsibility and that ideally the bank would remain independent forever." Michael Downer , also a fourth generation and board member, comments on the detailed conflict resolution process for resolving the inveitable issues that crop up as succeeding generations bring new views and needs into the picutre, "Our goal is to speak with one voice to management and to the board." The article pointed out that "a curical part of the family council and forum meetings is instilling the bank's culture and long-range thinking in the younger family members, said Downer III". These are just a few of the highlights found in the January 11 - 17 , 2008 East Bay Business Times article as to why family-owned banking is both beneficial and a challenge.



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