Pacific Continental Bank expands into Vancouver

Downtown branch expected to open this spring

By Shane Cleveland
VBJ Staff Reporter

Pacific Continental Corp., the Eugene, Ore.-based parent of Pacific Continental Bank, has announced plans to open its first Vancouver branch. The company moved quickly after completing its acquisition of Northwest Business Bank in Seattle in November 2005, which allowed the Oregon bank to open branches in Washington.

The bank has leased a 1,860-square-foot, ground-floor space in the Evergreen International Plaza building on the southeast corner of Main Street and Evergreen Boulevard in downtown. The full-service branch is expected to open in late spring 2006 following improvements. The branch will have between five and six employees.

“It’s a location we believe will provide the best opportunity to attract deposits,” said Michael Reynolds, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “As a business bank, being in the downtown business section is important to executing our strategy.”

Reynolds said expansion into Vancouver is part of the company’s growth strategy for the metropolitan Portland market.

It first entered the Portland market with a Beaverton branch in 1997. Pacific Continental opened its fourth Portland branch in December. Reynolds said the company views Vancouver as part of Portland market.

“We realized the growth potential of the market,” he said. There is a strong economy with strong businesses in a growing market. There are a lot of potential clients.”

The bank now has 14 branches, including the two newly-acquired Seattle-area branches and the Vancouver location.

Dan Hempy, executive vice president and director of Portland operations, said the bank also looked at the Salmon Creek and east Clark County locations as possible locations.

Plans call for continuing to look for expansion opportunities in all of its markets, including Vancouver.

Expansion in Clark County will depend on the success the bank has in the market, said Hempy, but it’s not the only factor.

“Our expansion strategy has been first about identifying the bankers” to manage the growth, said Hempy.

Finding qualified bankers to staff new locations is a difficult prospect, said Reynolds. Pacific Continental brought on Todd Burchett as vice president in January to head up its Vancouver expansion. Most recently with Bank of Oswego, Burchett has more than 13 years of experience in this market, including with Riverview Community Bank.

“His role will be to take the lead in developing new business relationships in the Vancouver market,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds said the bank’s focus on community-based businesses, professional service providers and nonprofit organizations will allow it to be successful in Vancouver’s competitive banking market.

“Just because there are a lot of banks, that is not a hindrance,” he said. “There is ample opportunity for banks to penetrate these large markets.”

Pacific Continental, founded in 1972, is publicly traded. The company posted 2005 revenue of $34.3 million, up 17 percent, while income grew 21 percent to $9.6 million. Deposits were $604.3 million, up 50 percent, and loans grew 48 percent to $671.2 million. Earnings per share were $1.08 versus 93 cents. At press time, the company’s shares were up 15 cents to $16.80 cents.

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