Sound Community Bank's purchase of Columbia branches expected to close Friday

Peninsula Daily News

By next week, Columbia Bank customers on the North Olympic Peninsula most likely will be conducting their business at Sound Community Bank.

The purchase of the Columbia Bank branches in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Ludlow is scheduled to close Friday, said Matt Deines, Sound Community Bank executive vice president and chief financial officer.

“We're very excited to be expanding on the Peninsula, and we intend to be there for a long time,” Deines said.

The purchase leaves no Columbia Bank branches on the Peninsula.

It also represents the first foray into Jefferson County for Sound Community Bank, which has done business in Clallam County since 1997.

With the completed purchase, Sound Community Bank will add nine new employees from Columbia Bank, some of which are part time.

Transfer by close of business

If the sale closes as scheduled, Columbia employees and customers will join Sound Community Bank by the close of business Friday.

Consumer and business clients can begin online banking Sunday.

Columbia customers are receiving new checks, debit cards and pin numbers but their account numbers will remain the same.

“Everything will be converted by our bank, and there should be very little disruption to any of the Columbia customers,” Deines said.

The transaction means Sound Community Bank will take on about 2,000 accounts.

Sequim branch

In Sequim, the company will operate both the Columbia Bank branch at 645 W. Washington St. and Sound Community Bank branch at 541 N. Fifth Ave. for three weeks before shifting all operations to the Washington Street location Friday, Sept. 12.

The Sequim branch is the largest in all of Sound Community Bank in terms of deposits, Deines said. As of June 30, deposits were about $129 million.

Sound Community Bank already had been seeking a larger location in Sequim, company officials said.

“This opportunity helped us to take on an existing business and move into a facility on Washington, which is where we wanted to be,” Deines said.

The Sequim branch will add three Columbia Bank employees.

Sound's Sequim branch is a leased facility. In Port Angeles, the company owns the building but leases the land.

Port Angeles

In Port Angeles, the present Columbia branch at 602 E. Front St. will move into the Sound Community Bank location at 110 N. Alder St. tentatively by Nov. 10.

Some inquiries have been made about buying the Columbia Bank building.

“We've had some discussions with potential buyers,” Deines said. “Nothing concrete.”

The manager in Port Angeles will replace the retiring Port Ludlow manager, Deines said.

Port Ludlow

No location changes are anticipated in Port Ludlow, where Columbia has a branch at 9500 Oak Bay Road.

The name and signage will change there.

“By Monday, we'll have the initial branding completed and evaluate any other branding we need to do,” Deines said.

Sound Community will receive about $24 million of deposits and $1 million of loans in the purchase.

Columbia Bank will receive a 2.35 percent total deposit premium on the transaction.

“We did a transaction similar to this in 2009, which boosted our entry into the Port Angeles market,” Deines said.

“We opened a branch in Port Angeles shortly before securing a bank from First Security Bank of Washington.

“It gave us a good start in that market.”

Columbia Bank

Melanie Dressel, president and CEO of Columbia Bank and Columbia Banking System Inc., based in Tacoma, said in May when the purchase was announced that her company had not been seeking a buyer for the three branches.

“After careful consideration, we determined that it made sense,” she said.

Columbia Bank had 139 branches: 79 in Washington state and 60 in Oregon, said JoAnne Coy, vice president of corporate communications.

Sound Financial Bancorp Inc. is the parent company of Sound Community Bank.

It also has full-service branches in Seattle, Tacoma and Mountlake Terrace; a loan production office; and an online EZ virtual branch.

For more information about Sound Community Bank, visit www.soundcb.com.

Last modified: August 20. 2014 7:29PM
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