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Richmond, CA, July 14, 2008—It may appear like "old home week" to some Lafayette businesses and residents when Mechanics Bank opens its new Lafayette Office on Monday, July 21. The 103-year old bank's newest office at 3640 Mt. Diablo Boulevard (across from Trader Joe's), which formerly housed Greater Bay Bancorp's Mt. Diablo Bank, will feature plenty of familiar faces.

The office will be managed by vice president Debbie Cooper, who formerly worked as the service manager at Mt. Diablo Bank (acquired when Greater Bay Bancorp was purchased by Wells Fargo late last year.) Before that Cooper managed the Lafayette office of Bank of America. At Mechanics Bank, she will be joined by Magda Pieracki, another veteran of Mt. Diablo Bank who first worked with Cooper at Bank of America. Both are happy to be back in their element as community bankers.

"When I joined Mt. Diablo Bank in 2005, I loved knowing that I could make an important difference right here in Lafayette by supporting local businesses and nonprofits," said Cooper. "It made me feel great about my job. After we were acquired, I missed that sense of connection so I was thrilled when the opportunity came up to join Mechanics Bank. Their philosophy really fits with my own approach."

Cooper, a life-long resident of the Diablo Valley area who currently lives in Concord, is a member of the Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Lamorinda Sunrise Rotary, and actively involved with several charities benefiting disabled persons.

Another key Lafayette team member is Chris Basman, vice president and relationship manager. A 35-year financial services veteran, he is joining Mechanics Bank from Bank of Agriculture & Commerce in Concord, where he was a vice president and regional commercial banking officer. Prior to that, he spent 32 years at Bank of America.

Mechanics Bank's new office fills a void in Lafayette, where a series of acquisitions and mergers by money center banks have left the town with only one other local community bank, a start-up. Rauly Butler, senior vice president of Retail Banking at Mechanics Bank and a resident of nearby Orinda, said, "We think Lafayette's thriving mix of small and mid-size businesses and affluent residents will find our full range of banking services appealing--and we think they will respond well to working with a stable and independent, locally-owned bank that wants to build long term relationships."

In addition to individual and small business banking products, Mechanics Bank has a full range of corporate banking products--including treasury management, commercial lending, commercial real estate lending and equipment leasing--and also a full range of wealth management, investment and trust services.

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 34 offices across Northern California. For more information, please visit

Press contacts:
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Mr. David Louis