Archive » December 6, 2012
Union Bank announces merger, layoffs
By Jeremy Foster, Staff Writer
Just days before UnionBanCal announced the merger of Union Bank with Santa Barbara Bank & Trust as part of a new ownership agreement, nearly half of SBB&T’s workforce was told they will be laid off, according to a company spokesman.
San Francisco-based UnionBanCal Corp., which owns Union Bank, announced on Dec. 1 that it has officially purchased Santa Barbara-based Pacific Capital Bancorp, which operates under the name Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, for $1.5 billion.
In all, 468 employees will be laid off over the next year, 80% of whom will depart by April 30, 2013, according to Union Bank spokesman Daniel W. Weidman.
The majority of positions eliminated are in Santa Barbara proper, Weidman told the Journal. Santa Barbara Bank & Trust runs 45 branches in eight California counties. Of those, 21 are in Santa Barbara County, including eight in Santa Barbara, three in Montecito, one in Solvang and one in Los Olivos. Layoffs are common in bank buyouts, Weidman said, and are the result of the “acquiring institution evaluating whether there’s overlap of existing resources.”
“Union Bank has done an extensive and thoughtful assessment of staffing needs, in close consultation with SBB&T management,” he added.
Weidman said the merger will ultimately save the jobs of 570 employees, mostly direct customer service positions.
Affected employees have been given the option of applying for 175 positions from Los Angeles to San Jose. Those positions are for a range of jobs and are “not necessarily” the same as those positions eliminated this week by SBB&T, Weidman added.
Union Bank purchased SBB&T’s parent company, Pacific Capital Bancorp, earlier this year. The merger received final regulatory approval on Nov. 14, 2012.
Under the new ownership, shares of Pacific Capital common stock will no longer be listed on any stock exchange or quotation system, including the NASDAQ Global Market, according to the company’s press release.
“Public stockholders of record of PCBC will receive a letter of transmittal with detailed instructions for exchanging their stock certificates for the per share merger consideration,” it read. “Pursuant to the merger agreement, each outstanding share of common stock of PCBC has been converted into the right to receive $46.00 per share in cash, without interest.”
Weidman said the merger and attendant downsizing of SBB&T won’t change the customer experience. “SBB&T’s business lines and major areas of focus – consumer banking, small business, commercial banking and wealth management – are very much in alignment with Union Bank’s areas of focus,” he explained.
Unknown was whether laid-off employees will receive severance pay, benefits continuation and job-placement assistance. It was also unclear whether Union Bank intends to close any branches. The latest layoffs come nearly four years after SBB&T let 300 employees go in March 2009. email@example.com