Monthly Archives: June 2015

Grandpoint Bank Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

5thFive years ago this month, Grandpoint Bank first opened its doors in Los Angeles. With just $97 million in assets at the end of that first year, Grandpoint has grown into a nearly $3 billion bank with 14 banking offices in three states… in just five years. We are grateful for the outstanding community banks that became part of the Grandpoint family during that period, for the talent and time our entire team continues to invest in our success and, of course, for our wonderful clients.

Through our community bank divisions — Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank, and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona – our roots run deep in the communities we serve. And many of our client relationships date back decades, the result of the close collaborations cultivated by the talented and experienced bankers who have become part of the Grandpoint team.

We began our initial acquisition phase in 2010, combining the resources and talents of select community banks, each with a well-earned reputation for taking great care of clients. We completed the subsequent consolidation phase in 2014, having incorporated 11 financial institutions into Grandpoint Bank. Today, our size and capital strength enable us to offer our clients the advantages of higher lending limits and the benefits of expanded capabilities, while working with the same familiar bankers they have come to know and trust through the years.

Our story has been much like those of our clients – building a business from the ground up. Because we know what it takes to launch and run a business successfully, we go above and beyond to make things work well for our clients.

We are now focused on our continued growth, building on our strong financial performance and helping our clients build their businesses. We are proud of the institution we’ve created, the progress we’ve made and the value we’ve brought to our clients.Thank you to everyone who has helped Grandpoint Bank reach our fifth anniversary.

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ONEgeneration – Meeting the Needs of Our Community’s Children and Seniors

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You can help by shopping at the Encino Farmer’s Market (and More!)

Longtime Grandpoint Bank client ONEgeneration is transforming the lives of children and seniors in the West San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles by connecting them in ways that teach compassion and provide purpose. ONEgeneration’s unique, intergenerational programming combines a daycare serving approximately 100 children from six weeks to six years old and an adult day center under one roof. For part of the day, the preschoolers work on tasks and projects with the seniors, and the seniors can come into the nursery to rock or play with the babies.

“For the children, this interaction teaches them compassion and about differences at an early age,” said Jennifer Davine, Director of Community Relations and Fund Development at ONEgeneration. “For our seniors, many of whom have a brain-impairing condition or other difficulties, interacting with the children makes them smile with joy while giving them a sense of purpose and of being needed.”

ONEgeneration also maintains a Senior Center further on Victory Boulevard for active seniors who want a place to gather and socialize. They can choose from a variety of health promotion and disease prevention classes, yoga and dance classes, as well as educational programs about fraud and scams targeting seniors, Medicare, and other important current issues. Many also come to the center for a hot lunch, which is donation-based and free to those who cannot afford to pay. ONEgeneration also serves these hot lunches at three different sites in our area and for 220 homebound adults.

Although some funding is provided by the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging, ONEgeneration’s ability to provide these many services relies on grants, sponsorships and donations, as well as proceeds from the Encino Farmer’s Market. The brainchild of former ONE Generation board member, the late Harry Vickman, the year-round Encino Farmer’s Market↗  donates a portion of its proceeds each week to support ONEgeneration and its programs. The popular market, open every Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., just celebrated its 20th anniversary and features food from over 30 farms from all over central and southern California.

Arlet Hur, who manages Grandpoint Bank’s relationship with ONEgeneration, has led the charge in garnering sponsorship support from our bank for ONEgeneration. She also works with their staff to provide the banking and credit support they need to keep their organization moving forward.

“ONEgeneration does a lot for our community, and people can help them by spreading the word about their services to seniors and to their caregivers, to farmer’s market fans and to anyone who might be able to support the organization through volunteer services or financial donations,” said Arlet.

The ONEgeneration intergenerational model is a forward-thinking approach to meeting the needs of the community’s young and elderly and providing a way for them to help each other. Furthermore, ONEgeneration is the only organization providing free services for seniors in this part of the San Fernando Valley. We are proud to do business with and to support ONEgeneration.

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↗ Linking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites
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.

CBA 124th Annual Convention The Economic Outlook: Key Takeaways

Screen Shot 2015-06-05 at 2.24.22 PM By Christopher Thornberg, Founding Partner Beacon Economics, LLC

Dr. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics recently presented the firm’s economic outlook for California at the California Bankers Association annual convention. Business owners and managers of all types are wise to keep abreast of economic trends that may affect their industries and customers. As such, we are grateful that Beacon Economics has allowed us to share this summary with our clients and readers.

National Economy: What, Me Worry?

Eerily similar to 2014, growth in the first quarter of 2015 was much weaker than most analysts had expected, largely due to a sharp widening in the U.S. trade deficit and a slowdown in domestic consumption. But also similar to last year Beacon Economics believes this blip is largely transitory. Consumer spending, for example, seemed to be impacted by weather issues. With a still hot labor market, worker wages starting to rise, and a boost from lower energy costs, consumer spending is poised for growth. This view is supported by the savings rate, which rose by a full percentage point in the first quarter. Expect these savings to boost spending in the latter part of the year. The weather also accounted for the slowing in construction—but not all of it. One big hit came from reduced spending on new oil wells, driven by lower oil prices. This will likely continue for a couple more quarters but will be offset, in part, by increases in spending on other types of structures. New home sales have picked up, as have permits for new non-residential structures, in many parts of the nation. Gains here should be more than enough to offset the slowing from oil exploration. Trade continues to be a drag on the economy. The strong pace of U.S. growth has caused a sharp appreciation of the U.S. dollar. That will weigh on growth this year, but not as heavily as in the first quarter. The global economy appears to be stabilizing slowly, and with stimulus programs being put into place in China and the European Union, we see better numbers by the end of the year. Add it up and Beacon Economics expects the nation to get close to 3% growth this year, still better than last year but not by as much as initially hoped.

California: Go West Young Man!

Our ongoing optimism about the Golden State’s prospects bore fruit again this year. California is growing at well over a 3% pace. This translates into 500,000 jobs created in the state in the last 6 months, accounting for almost 1 out of 6 jobs created nationally and totaling 100,000 more jobs than created in Texas. While some of these jobs are in the red-hot San Jose and San Francisco economies (ranked 1 and 3, respectively, for growth in major U.S. economies) they aren’t carrying the state on their own. Los Angeles, for example, grew at half the pace of the West Bay—but that still implies that L.A. added more jobs in absolute terms than San Jose and San Francisco combined. And growth isn’t limited to the coasts—Fresno, the Inland Empire, and Sacramento all posted growth numbers well above the national average. The biggest problem the state faces currently is its lack of housing and rapidly declining levels of housing affordability. California can grow more rapidly as long as there is slack in the workforce. But at the current rate of job growth that slack will run out in the next 18 months. After that, growth can only continue on the basis of net migration—not easy when there isn’t even enough housing construction to supply the needs of natural increase (births minus deaths). Unless something dramatic is done to deal with this chronic problem, expect growth to slow in a couple years.

Credit Environments

The credit environment is still improving. Delinquencies and charge-offs continue to decline for all classes of loans. Banks have similarly been reducing their loan-loss reserves in response. Despite this, however, the pace of bank lending remains subdued. Growth in direct loans has been running in the 6% to 7% annual range, lower than the typical 10%. C&I and Commercial Real Estate continue to run hotter than normal, consumer loans cooler, and residential loans are still in decline. The slow recovery in housing as well as the ongoing struggle with new financial rules and regulations has limited the available supply of credit to potential borrowers. California based banks continue to buck the trend on this front. Outstanding loans grew at a 16% rate through the final quarter of last year, driven largely by C&I, construction, multifamily, and commercial real estate loans. Even housing has changed course in the state. Loans tied to residential properties grew by 12% over the course of 2014. So far there are few signs of problems in the credit markets. Auto loans being made by non-financial institutions did show some increase in delinquencies at the end of 2014—likely due to the aggressive push in sub-prime auto loans by these entities. And valuations for tech firms seem aggressively high relative to profits. But a true financial crisis is not caused by modest front line trends. Rather the issues have to be much more broad based, and equivalently, have to be accompanied by an expansive increase in overall credit. Today, credit is flowing at a pace that matches economic growth, or in other words, the debt to GDP ratio is at a reasonable level. No worries—at least not yet. As for rates, the 10-year bond remains steady at 200 bps, while the Federal Reserve has stayed the course. Estimates of Fed tightening actions keep getting pushed back largely on the basis of current economic conditions. We always expect very slow action on the part of the Federal Reserve. Forget equity prices; it is leverage that worries the Fed most—and leverage is not expanding in any troublesome way right now. Equivalently, the share of discouraged and underemployed workers, while falling, is still high from a long-term standpoint. There isn’t much of a punch bowl to take away. Low interest rates, and high valuations on many assets, is a function of the wave of capital crashing onto U.S. shores without many places for it to be absorbed. Until the global economy returns to a sufficiently aggressive growth plane and can re-absorb some of the liquidity, Beacon Economics sees low rates, low returns, and high valuations as a part of the financial landscape for at least the next few years. For additional information about Beacon Economics or Christopher Thornberg, please visit www.BeaconEcon.com.↗ Dr. Thornberg’s complete PowerPoint Presentation is now available on the Beacon website.

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↗ Linking to Non-Grandpoint Bank Websites 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.