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2006 News Archive

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North Bay Business Journal - 12/18/2006 - Mechanics Bank increases focus on wealth management, lending AFTER ADDING BRANCHES, BANK NOW SEES GROWTH IN SERVICES, CORPORATE LOANS. Steven Buster - President and CEO of The Mechanics Bank, Cort O'Haver - EVP and Manager of Corporate Banking and Kirsten E. Weisser - EVP and Head of Wealth Management talk about how they are strengthening the bank's wealth management and corporate lending divisions as part of a new strategic plan.

North Bay Business Journal - 10/9/2006 - STATE & TAX PLANNING: IRA deduction has nonprofits hoping Retirees allowed to donate from retirement accounts through 2007. Thomas Kawazoe, Vice President of Wealth Management at the Mechanics Bank talks about a law that will allow retirees the opportunity to make sizable donations from their retirement accounts over the next 15 months.

San Francisco Chronicle - 8/31/2006 - Economic confidence tumbles in Bay Area. Business leaders worried over real estate, gas prices, Mideast. Steven Buster, President and CEO of The Mechanics Bank, talks about how a slow real estate market could affect the banking industry.

San Francisco Business Times - 7/03/2006 - Potential buyers are legion and taxes are low. In a story about family businesses, Carol O'Neill and Kirsten Weisser of The Mechanics Bank Wealth Management Group are quoted on the decision-making process owners go through when deciding to sell.

East Bay Business Times - June 19, 2006 - Mechanics Bank preps for exam. Steven Buster, President and CEO of The Mechanics Bank, talks about how the bank is preparing for its upcoming Community Reinvestment Act exam.

San Francisco Chronicle - May 10, 2006 - MIND YOUR BUSINESS: How businesses should deal with trademark, patent issues. In the May 10th edition of Mind Your Business, Raudel Wilson, Manager of the Berkeley Office of The Mechanics Bank gives lending advice to small businesses and start-ups. He also talks about some of the financing options available at The Mechanics Bank, including SBA loans. The SBA has certified The Mechanics Bank as a “Preferred Lender”.

East Bay Business Times - May 5, 2006 - Community bankers venture investments in Oakland market. Despite being a mature market, Oakland has experienced a recent growth spurt and many people expect this to continue. As a result, downtown Oakland has become an attractive expansion location for many Bay Area community banks. Steve Buster talks about what type of strategies the Bank has employed since establishing its downtown Oakland office ten years ago. "Oakland clients are pretty traditional about changing banks," said Steven Buster, president and CEO of Mechanics Bank, which established it's presence in Oakland 10 years ago. "A new bank needs to find some good niches to be successful in Oakland."

Contra Costa Times - April 21, 2006 - East Bay businesses optimistic. For the second year, The Mechanics Bank conducted its annual Business Optimism Survey. The survey results showed that Northern California businesses maintained a positive outlook about their future despite current economic challenges such as rising interest rates and energy costs. The surveys index rose this year to 100.28, just barely above last year's reading of 100.

San Francisco Business Times - April 20,2006 - Bay Area businesses bullish on their outlook, survey finds. The Mechanics Bank's second annual Business Optimism Survey and Index found that Northern California businesses remain positive despite current economic challenges. 55% of the respondents said they consider their businesses better off than a year ago and 84% of the respondents said that they expect their businesses to be better off a year from now.

East Bay Business Times - April 14, 2006 - Economic shift could bring more bank mergers. The Mechanics Bank President and CEO, Steven Buster and other California bank executives and industry experts discuss how increased competition within the banking industry and other economic factors could affect bank mergers in the near future.

East Bay Business Times - April 14th, 2006 - IDAs give banks an inroad. Within this article, Erwin Reeves, Vice President and Community Development Manager of The Mechanics Bank talks about the benefit of IDAs and how they can lead to a fruitful, long lasting relationship that benefits both the bank and the customer. IDAs or Individual Development Accounts are offered to qualifying low-income individuals. The Federal Government and private organizations then match dollar for dollar (sometimes more) the amount that the individual places in the IDA. IDAs are typically used to buy a home, start a business or fund education.

San Francisco Business Times - April 14, 2006--Mechanics opens Pittsburg branch. The Mechanics Bank opened its first Pittsburg office, which civic officials hope will spur further development in Old Town Pittsburg. The new location is in a building on the corner of Seventh Street and Railroad Avenue that stood vacant for the past nine years.

St. Helena Star—April 13, 2006—Biz Briefs: Hinde Joins Mechanics Bank’s Lending Staff. The Mechanics Bank has named Jason Hinde as vice president and senior relationship manager in the Napa Valley Corporate Lending Group. Hinde will manage winery and vineyard loans, commercial and residential mortgages, construction, international trade, working capital lines of credit, and preferred SBA loans, along with other duties.

East Bay Business Times – April 12th, 2006 - Survey: Bay Area companies say they are better off. The Mechanics Bank President and CEO, Steven Buster discusses this year’s results of the bank’s annual Business Optimism Survey and based on the results of the survey, what type of products and services the bank plans on offering it’s business clients to meet the challenges of succeeding in today’s competitive environment.

East Bay Business Times – April 11th, 2006 - The Mechanics Bank opens Pittsburg location. The Mechanics Bank becomes the first full-service bank to open in Old Town Pittsburg in more than 15 years. Barry Gordon, a vice president of the bank, manages the Pittsburg office. The opening of the new Pittsburg office is part of an ongoing effort to spur the development of Old Town Pittsburg into a thriving retail shopping district.

Napa Valley Register: Biz Buzz - Monday, April 10, 2006 - The Mechanics Bank adds Napa Valley lending staff. The Mechanics Bank announces that Jason Hinde has joined the bank as vice president and senior relationship manager in the Napa Valley Corporate Lending Group.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 2, 2006 - These are some Bay Area businesses that are 100-years old. The Mechanics Bank makes the list of the Bay Area’s oldest companies.

East County Times (Antioch, CA)—March 16, 2006—Downtown To Get Mechanics Bank. Pittsburg: The Full-Service Branch, Set to Open April 10, Will Be The City Center’s First In At Least 15 Years—When The Mechanics Bank opens its doors that Monday, downtown Pittsburg will have something it has lacked for more than 15 years: a full-service bank branch. And the city hopes the bank's presence will help spur business development in an area the city is working to transform into a retail shopping district for East County.

Sacramento Bee On the move - February 27, 2006 - The Mechanics Bank has named Jackie Bartolucci as manager and retail banking officer of the bank's Rocklin office. Sharon Camandona has been named vice president and manager of the Sacramento office.

Sacramento Business Journal - February 27, 2006 - Jackie Bartolucci has been appointed manager and retail banking officer at The Mechanics Bank in Rocklin.

Contra Costa Times - February 8, 2006 - Businesses Paint Rosy Picture of Job Market. Index Finds Bay Area Firms Are Rebounding From Earlier Uncertainties and Expect to Hire More Employees—“It seems as if confidence is picking up," said Deanna Berzins, a vice president with Richmond-based Mechanics Bank. "A number of industries are adding jobs. The Bay Area is attracting more people in higher-paying jobs."

San Francisco Chronicle - February 8, 2006 - Things are looking up. Many Bay Area companies plan to hire workers--Bay Area business leaders are increasingly confident about the local economy and a significant number plan to add jobs during the next six months, according to a survey to be released today by the Bay Area Council--In the financial activities sector, 37 percent of executives said they plan increases. Deanna Berzins, a vice president at the Mechanics Bank, which is based in Richmond and has 29 branches in Northern California, said it plans to add 10 to 15 people to its workforce of 600.

Sacramento Business Journal - February 1, 2006 - Mechanics Bank opens fifth local office. The Mechanics Bank has opened its fifth office in Sacramento area, fulfilling plans the company announced last summer

East Bay Business Times - January 13, 2006 - $200M building spree slated for Pittsburg. The Mechanics Bank’s plans for a new Pittsburg office are discussed as part of the revitalization of Old Town Pittsburg. The head of the city’s redevelopment agency calls the office “a big shot in the arm for downtown since it will be the first time in two decades the district has had a bank.”

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