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Bank merger provides options for customers

Sterling Bank will become part of the Umpqua Holdings Corp. next year


Customers with two local community banks will soon be getting a bigger bang for their buck, following the recent announcement that Sterling Financial Corp. will merge with Umpqua Holdings Corp. early next year.

The merger will result in the West Coast’s largest community bank system, which will operate under the Umpqua Bank name and brand. The combined organization will have approximately $22 billion in assets, $15 billion in loans and $16 billion in deposits, with 5,000 employees in 394 branches across five states.

Ray Davis, president and CEO for Umpqua Holdings, will remain at the helm of the company. Greg Seibly, Sterling Financial’s president and CEO, and Umpqua Bank’s Cort O’Haver will serve as co-presidents. by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: JIM CLARK - Umpqua Bank operates a location on Northwest Norman Avenue in Gresham Station. Sterling Bank, on Northeast 181st Avenue, will become part of Umpqua Bank when a merger is finalized early next year.

According to Umpqua officials, the merger comes at a time when Umpqua’s presence in communities was growing. The bank operates locations between Seattle and San Francisco, along the Oregon and northern California coast, as well as in Central Oregon and northern Nevada. Sterling serves customers in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and California. Combining forces, officials said, will expand the products, services and locations available to customers, but also made sense given the similar business practices of both banks.

“The two companies think alike in terms of community banking and were doing so many of the same things,” said an Umpqua company spokesperson. “They have the same goals and share the same DNA, so to speak. It will allow us to provide more stores (branches), a larger ATM network and a level of personal service that is consistent no matter where you bank.”

The agreement is expected to be finalized in early 2014, Umpqua officials said, barring any failure to pass federal regulatory requirements. Stockholders for both companies must also approve of the merger.

Umpqua and Sterling each operate one local branch in Gresham — Umpqua, on Northwest Norman Avenue in Gresham Station; and Sterling, on the corner of Northeast 181st Avenue and Burnside Road. While there are no plans to close or consolidate bank branches, Umpqua officials said, an “integration team” of executives from both companies has been assigned the task of addressing upcoming changes.

Umpqua Holdings Corp. is the parent company for Umpqua Bank. Headquartered in Portland, the company offers a variety of banking services for both personal and business customers. It also owns a retail brokerage subsidiary, Umpqua Investments Inc., and offers high net-worth individuals and nonprofit organizations investment and trust services through Umpqua Private Bank.

Sterling Financial Corp., based in Spokane, Wash., is the holding company for Sterling Savings Bank, a Washington chartered and federally insured commercial bank. It is recognized in Washington, Oregon and Idaho as Sterling Bank and as Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank in California.

The company offers mortgage lending and trust and investment services to individuals, small businesses, corporations and other commercial organizations.

For more information on Umpqua Holdings Corp., visit umpquaholdingscorp.com. Or for Sterling Financial Corp., visit sterlingfinancialcorporation.com.



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