FBI: How to Protect Your Computer

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Below are some key steps to protecting your computer from intrusion, as detailed on the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ cybercrime webpage:

Keep Your Firewall Turned On: A firewall helps protect your computer from hackers who might try to gain access to crash it, delete information, or even steal passwords or other sensitive information. Software firewalls are widely recommended for single computers. The software is prepackaged on some operating systems or can be purchased for individual computers. For multiple networked computers, hardware routers typically provide firewall protection.

Install or Update Your Antivirus Software: Antivirus software is designed to prevent malicious software programs from embedding on your computer. If it detects malicious code, like a virus or a worm, it works to disarm or remove it. Viruses can infect computers without users’ knowledge. Most types of antivirus software can be set up to update automatically.

Install or Update Your Antispyware Technology: Spyware is just what it sounds like—software that is surreptitiously installed on your computer to let others peer into your activities on the computer. Some spyware collects information about you without your consent or produces unwanted pop-up ads on your web browser. Some operating systems offer free spyware protection, and inexpensive software is readily available for download on the Internet or at your local computer store. Be wary of ads on the Internet offering downloadable antispyware—in some cases these products may be fake and may actually contain spyware or other malicious code. It’s like buying groceries—shop where you trust.

Keep Your Operating System Up to Date: Computer operating systems are periodically updated to stay in tune with technology requirements and to fix security holes. Be sure to install the updates to ensure your computer has the latest protection.

Be Careful What You Download: Carelessly downloading e-mail attachments can circumvent even the most vigilant anti-virus software. Never open an e-mail attachment from someone you don’t know, and be wary of forwarded attachments from people you do know. They may have unwittingly advanced malicious code.

Turn Off Your Computer: With the growth of high-speed Internet connections, many opt to leave their computers on and ready for action. The downside is that being “always on” renders computers more susceptible. Beyond firewall protection, which is designed to fend off unwanted attacks, turning the computer off effectively severs an attacker’s connection—be it spyware or a botnet that employs your computer’s resources to reach out to other unwitting users.

https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyberscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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We’re celebrating 15 consecutive 5-Star ratings from BauerFinancial

march bauerIndependent rating and research firm BauerFinancialscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am has released its March 2017 bank ratings, giving Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a fifteenth consecutive quarterly 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness.

Based on December 31, 2016 financial data filed with the government, only banks BauerFinancial considers to be the strongest in the nation earn the 5-Star rating. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.

BauerFinancial has rated banks since 1983 and is regarded as “the nation’s bank rating service.” Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated.

Criteria for earning the 5-Star rating include the strength of the institution’s capital ratios, profitability/loss trends, the level of delinquent loans and repossessed assets, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

Thank you to all our wonderful clients for your business and your trust. We’re a 5-Star bank because we work with 5-Star clients.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Grandpoint Bank Makes $500,000 Equity Investment in Clearinghouse CDFI

Clearinghouse CDFI

As a community-focused bank, we are committed to helping build strong, stable businesses that create jobs, provide services and support healthy communities. In keeping with that mission, Grandpoint Bank has made a $500,000 equity investment in the Clearinghouse Community Development Financial Institution (Clearinghouse CDFIscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am). This investment will help Clearinghouse CDFI continue to provide community development lending in underserved communities in Southern California and Arizona.

“CDFI has the expertise and experience to identify critical needs in low-income and distressed communities and to create responsive and innovative solutions that make a real difference in people’s lives,” says Darlene Esquerra, Senior Vice President and Community Development Officer. “This relationship made perfect sense for Grandpoint, since Clearinghouse CDFI offers economic opportunities in so many of the same markets that we serve. Our investment will benefit these communities while supporting our overall community outreach program.”

Grandpoint Bank and 49 other financial institutions are “impact partners” whose investments increase Clearinghouse CDFI’s capacity to continue meeting unmet credit needs. At September 30, 2016, the institution had total assets of $339 million under management.

“We are thrilled to welcome Grandpoint Bank to our list of strong community partners,” said Douglas Bystry, Clearinghouse CDFI President and CEO. “We appreciate their significant investment in Clearinghouse CDFI and their mutual commitment to revitalizing our local communities.”

Over the course of 20 years, Clearinghouse CDFI has funded $1.4 billion in loans for over 1,780 projects, which have created or retained more than 16,000 jobs and benefit over 1.4 million individuals.

“This partnership is exciting, and it is a perfect fit with our bank’s community reinvestment act (CRA) strategy to give back to our communities in ways that are truly meaningful,” says Cynthia Mendoza, Senior Vice President and Compliance & CRA Officer.

Recipients of Clearinghouse CDFI financing include community facilities, affordable housing, commercial real estate, and small businesses. Additionally, Clearinghouse CDFI is one of largest participants in the New Market Tax Credit (NMTC) Program, with over $473 million of NMTC allocation deployed throughout California and Nevada. The NMTC Program helps economically distressed communities attract private capital by providing a Federal tax credit to investors.

Visit the Clearinghouse CDFI website here.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Grandpoint Bank Hires Richard Borquez as Vice President/Information Security Manager

borquez-richardWe’re pleased to announce that Richard Borquez has joined our bank as Vice President and Information Security Manager in our downtown Los Angeles office.

In his new position, Richard will be responsible for directing and managing information security policies, controls and compliance throughout Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona. He has more than 25 years of audit and information technology experience. Recently he served as Senior IT Security Consultant at Dell Secure Works.

“Richard’s deep expertise in IT and cybersecurity is well aligned with the commitment we’ve made to consistently evolve the technological security measures we use within our bank and make available to our clients,” said John Coleman, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer at Grandpoint Bank.

As many of our readers know, Grandpoint has a track record of educating and alerting our clients and the broader business community about established and emerging cybercrime trends and the tools available to defend against cyber attacks.

“My objective is to continuously ensure that top-quality security controls are in place to support our clients and our banks,” said Richard. “I welcome the opportunity to work with a financial institution that has been a leader in this field.”

Richard earned an Associate Degree at Trident University for Forensic Science, receiving a diploma as a Crime Scene Investigator. He is a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), a Payment Card Industry Qualified Security Assessor, a Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Project Management Professional (PMP) and is in the process of obtaining certified information security auditor (CISA) and certified information security manager (CISM) certifications.

Richard, a Vietnam war veteran, resides in Rancho Cucamonga with his family. He is tri-lingual, fluent in English, Spanish and Portuguese. We are excited to welcome him to our team.

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2017 Economic Forecast from Beacon Economics

Recently, our Los Angeles and South Bay offices hosted an annual economic forecast featuring guest speaker Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics.  He shared his 2017 economic forecast with approximately 140 of our clients and guests, taking a look back at past trends and addressing the outlook for the global, national and California economic markets. You can view his presentation by clicking here.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

Browsing through the presentation will reveal Beacon Economics’ assessment of the economic impacts of the presidential election, the strong points and challenges of our current economy, useful employment and housing information and much more.

Dr. Thornberg is widely considered to be one of the nation’s leading economists. An expert in economic forecasting, regional economics, labor markets, economic policy and real estate analysis, he was one of the earliest and most adamant predictors of the subprime mortgage market crash that began in 2007. Prior to launching Beacon Economics, Dr. Thornberg was a senior economist with UCLA’s Anderson Forecast.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Roger M. Laverty Named President of Grandpoint Bank

grandpoint_rocky_laverty_993_cropPlease join us in welcoming the new president of Grandpoint Bank, Roger M. “Rocky” Laverty. Rocky, a member of the Bank’s board of directors since its inception in 2010, has a distinguished business career, most recently serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of Farmer Bros. Co. He is also the former President and CEO of Smart & Final, Inc. and Diedrich Coffee, Inc., and he was a founding member and Chairman and CEO of Prime Advantage, Inc.

“Rocky is a remarkable businessman, and we are fortunate to have his leadership in guiding our bank’s growth across all of our markets,” says Don M. Griffith, Chairman and CEO of Grandpoint Capital, Inc., and Grandpoint Bank. “I’ve known Rocky for years, and his business acumen, his ability to identify and cultivate strategic growth opportunities and his track record of building successful businesses will be a tremendous benefit to Grandpoint.”

Rocky will remain on the bank’s board of directors.

“I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the bank’s growth as a member of the board,” says Rocky. “It is now exciting to be on the frontlines, working with an exceptionally talented group of regional executives and their teams. I’m looking forward to contributing the experience I’ve garnered over the course of my career to support the bank’s internal growth and develop new product strategies.”

Rocky is a member of the Board of Trustees for Children’s Bureauscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am and for the Jean Perkins Scholarship Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides college scholarships to children of LA County Sheriff Deputies. He also serves on the board of the Jimmy Miller Memorial Foundation,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am which provides ocean therapy to wounded warriors and veterans as well as at-risk youth.

Rocky attended Stanford University and Stanford Law School.

screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Refinance Your Conventional Business Loan into a SBA 504 Loan

leticia-scearce_biltmore-bankThe SBA Debt Refinance Program is back! Does your small business have a maturing or high-cost conventional loan for real estate, buildings or equipment? The long-term, fixed rate financing available through the SBA Debt Refinance Program can help small businesses that face significant balloon payments, require financial flexibility or want to take cash out from appreciating assets for expansion.

Under the new program, small businesses that refinance into a SBA 504 loan can take advantage of lower rates, fixed for 20 years, to lighten their monthly debt payments, improve cash flow and stabilize operations.

These parameters can help determine whether this program might be a good fit for your business:

  • The debt to be refinanced must be at least two years old.
  • The debt to be refinanced must be current during the last 12 months.
  • Eligible small businesses can obtain up to 90 percent financing for secured debt and qualified business debt.
  • Eligible fixed assets include real estate and equipment.
  • Cash out for operating expenses, including debt consolidation, is limited to 75 percent loan-to-value.
  • Cash out can be used for eligible business expenses (salaries, rent, utilities, inventory).
  • Existing government guaranteed loans are not eligible to be refinanced.
  • The eligible debt being refinanced is for the outstanding principal balance.

Other conditions or qualification requirements may apply. 

For those considering applying for a new loan, we offer a variety of government guaranteed loan products that require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms, which can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital.

  • SBA 7(a), 504 and 504 refinance
  • SBA Export Express Export Working Capital International Trade
  • USDA Business & Industry Loans Food Desert Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)
  • Export Import Bank of U.S.

If you would like more information on the SBA 504 Refinance Program or any of our government-guaranteed loan products, please contact Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager, at lscearce@biltmorebankaz.com or (602) 445-6511.

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Happy 2017!

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This New Year, thank the ancient Babylonians. The idea of observing a special day as the New Year was theirs, as many as 4,000 years ago, and it is considered the oldest of all holidays. Observing the New Year on January 1 is somewhat arbitrary, but the Roman senate first declared this date as the New Year in 153 BC.

The Babylonians were also the first to come up with the idea of New Year’s resolutions. These days, cultures throughout the world have their own New Year’s traditions (and observance dates). While watching the 1,200-pound Waterford Crystal ball drop in New York City is a common tradition in the U.S., the Spanish eat 12 grapes at midnight to encourage 12 happy months in the coming year.

In Britain, when the clock strikes midnight, everyone sings the Scottish song ‘Auld Lang Syne,” which means ‘times gone by’ and was written by Robert Burns in the 1700s. In Italy, people wear red underwear on New Year’s Day to bring good luck.

In Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico, families may stuff a large doll, called Mr. Old Year, with memories and clothes from the past year. At midnight, they light him on fire to burn away the bad memories. (May we suggest checking local regulations before you burn an effigy in your yard?)

The Japanese hold Bonenkai or “forget-the-year parties” throughout December to bid farewell to the problems and concerns of the past year and prepare for a new beginning.

Some parts of the Middle East and Asia celebrate Nowruz (or New Day), albeit in spring. Celebrations often include bonfires and egg dying.

If you find yourself celebrating the New Year by using noisemakers and setting off fireworks (again, check the regulations, folks) to celebrate the New Year, you have that in common with people in ancient times, who believed that loud noises would scare off evil spirits and bring good luck.

No matter how you celebrate the New Year, all of us at Grandpoint Bank wish you peace, prosperity and happiness for 2017.

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Helping Concept 7 Give Gifts to Foster Kids is Part of Our Holiday Tradition

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Concept 7screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am
is one of the wonderful philanthropic organizations Grandpoint Bank supports in the communities we serve. Through 40 years of exceptional services, shaped in response to the needs of abused and neglected youth and to the best practices of care, Concept 7, a fostering and adoption agency in Los Angeles, provides a continuum of family-centered treatment and support-related programs. Concept 7 offers services to over 1,500 youth and families annually.

Concept 7 was founded on the idea that effective programs to heal must include the seven concepts of rescue, recognition, relationship, responsibility, respect, resolution and renewal.

To celebrate the holidays, Grandpoint Bank’s Orange office has teamed up with Concept 7 again this year to purchase gifts for foster children. During the first few weeks of December, the Grandpoint team fulfills holiday wishes of many Concept 7 foster children, who range in age from infants to teens.

We invite our clients, friends and neighbors who would like to donate gifts to contact Concept 7 to design a giving program that fits your interests.

The Concept 7 staff can provide you with a detailed account of several gift ideas for each child in need, accompanied by their favorite stores and colors, as well as their clothing and shoe sizes so that donors can select the perfect gift to light up their holiday.

And if you can’t give now, Concept 7 and the children and families it serves are in need of gifts and support throughout the year. This includes a need for volunteers. Volunteers provide supportive services to augment the Foster Care and Clinical Services programs. Opportunities include tutoring, transportation, clerical support, mentoring, child care providers and social worker assistant.

Happy holidays!

Concept 7
(323) 838-9566
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screen-shot-2016-09-28-at-7-28-21-pm__________________________________________________________________________________________________

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Grandpoint Bank. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Grandpoint Bank. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Grandpoint Bank assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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