Earlier this year, Eugene-based Pacific Continental Bank announced that it would be acquired by Tacoma-based Columbia Bank for approximately $644 million.
Once the transaction is approved later this year by regulators and shareholders, the combined company will have approximately $12 billion in assets with more than 150 branches throughout Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
Heading up Pacific Continental Bank’s downtown Vancouver office is Senior Vice President Kristy Weaver. We asked her to discuss the pending acquisition and what the sale ultimately means for clients in Southwest Washington.
Q: How will Columbia Bank’s upcoming acquisition of Pacific Continental Bank affect customers in Southwest Washington?
Weaver: We anticipate a smooth transition for all of our clients, including Southwest Washington. Specifically, the vast majority of Pacific Continental client relationships will remain the same as they exist today. Both banks value the relationship client’s share with their banker and it’s important that clients continue working with someone who knows and understand their business.
Though the name on our signs will be changing, the same commitment to service and relationship-based banking will not.
Additionally, as we merge into a larger organization, our ability to serve more clients with higher lending limits and even more robust products, including in-house business banking services such as merchant card services and international banking, will continue to grow.
Finally, the spirit of community that permeates everything we do at Pacific Continental Bank is vigorously shared by Columbia Bank. Just like us, they are a community bank with a rich heritage of supporting their markets through direct impact, employee volunteerism and support. In many ways, Columbia Bank’s story mirrors our own: a small community bank that has grown into a premier regional bank, without sacrificing its core principles and commitment to service.
Q: What do you anticipate the impact on business lending will be?
Weaver: We anticipate it will become even more productive and beneficial for clients. Columbia’s presence as a $12 billion institution will translate into larger lending limits than previously available. But it’s more than just larger loan limits. We strongly believe that our clients will soon see that Columbia offers the best of both worlds when it comes to the loan relationship – the muscle of a larger financial institution with the personal touch of a community bank.
Q: Pacific Continental has certainly viewed Vancouver as a critical market, evidenced by increasing staff and investing more than $2 million in the downtown branch. Will this market be an area of particular focus moving forward?
Weaver: Columbia was attracted to Pacific Continental because of our desirable markets and robust community relationships – of which Vancouver certainly fits. We invested in this market because of the economic vibrancy we see today, and because of the tremendous potential we forecast into the future. Our new partners at Columbia also see these indicators of strength and growth and are excited about serving this community.
Q: As you wait for the acquisition to become final, what are you looking forward to the most?
Weaver: When this deal was first announced, Pacific Continental Bank’s CEO Roger Busse said, “this was not an acquisition, this was the acquisition.” What he meant was that combining our bank with Columbia was an incredibly rare opportunity to meld two very similar cultures together to form a really powerful community bank. For me, I’m most looking forward to combining the best of Pacific Continental With the best of Columbia to create something truly special for the future of Southwest Washington and the entire Pacific Northwest.