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Bolstering its Commercial-Product Line, the Full-Service Bank’s
New Program Offers Equipment Leases Up to $500,000

Richmond, CA, July 31, 2008—Mechanics Bank announced today a lease program that addresses growing demand in the region’s equipment-finance sector. The bank’s latest commercial program offers up to 100-percent financing for equipment and “soft” costs including delivery and installation, flexible terms, and a fast-track approval process for established businesses in varying industries.

“Northern California businesses with equipment-acquisition needs are increasingly relying on leases to preserve their cash positions and realize possible tax benefits,” said Cort O’Haver, executive vice president and director of Corporate Banking for Mechanics Bank. “On average, a company earns about 15 percent on every dollar of working capital retained in the business. Cash that normally would be needed for a down payment can be otherwise employed more productively. Revenues are generated by using equipment, not by owning it.”

California leads all states in the use of leases for equipment finance, representing 37 percent of the U.S. market, according to the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation and Global Insight. Based on the percentage of equipment that is leased in lieu of other forms of financing, O’Haver said California’s lease market is expected to exceed $24 billion this year.

“The lease market is growing and we want to ensure that our business customers have all the necessary financial resources under one roof,” said O’Haver. “We have a highly experienced team under the leadership of Vice President Gary Staring to support our customers and the expansion of their businesses.”

Available for all types of new and used commercial equipment, and facilitated by a fast-track approval process, Mechanics Bank’s new program offers up to 100-percent financing at competitive rates on leases ranging from $10,000 to $500,000.

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, Calif., offers personal banking, business banking, trust, brokerage and wealth management services through 34 offices across Northern California.

Press contacts:
Ms. Hatti Hamlin

Mr. David Louis