Westamerica: no plans to close branches

Westamerica Bank is not planning to close its Springs or Glen Ellen locations, company officials said this week.

“It is our intention to keep those branches open,” Christine Coulston, the bank’s market mamnager, said Monday. “We have informed the FDIC of that fact.”

There has been public concern that reduced service signaled the beginning of the end. But Coulston said the new schedule — noon to 4 p.m. weekdays, with no Saturday hours –reflects when the bank is most often used.

“The hours are based on actual transactions happening in the branch,” she said.

“If people don’t use those branches, we’ll have to make other accommodations,” Coulston continued, “but it is our intention to keep those branches open as long as people use them.”

The bank reiterates the position in a letter responding to mailed inquiries. Signed by Ginny Jarvis, customer service manager, the letter states, “Please be assured that Westamerica Bank is not planning to close these branches in February as has been published in the newspapers.”


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    10 Responses to Westamerica: no plans to close branches

    1. Gina Cuclis says:

      Great news. Thank you Westamerica.

    2. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      That’s funny Christine, I was copied on your letter to the FDIC (since it was The Grassroots Effort to Save Banco de Sonoma that filed the formal FDIC compalints) dated just January 4th and Brian Scrip your CRA Officer-Compliance Officer said this:

      “We have not filed applications to close any branches in Sonoma County.”

      To me that does not equate to “We are dedicated to The Springs and Glen Ellen for the foreseeable future?”

      Am I missing something here? Do you speak differently than your Headquarters Officer does? Sonoma Valley wants to know!

    3. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      Coulston…what exactly does YOUR statement mean?

      “If people don’t use those branches, we’ll have to make other accommodations,” Coulston continued

      Does that mean if your reduced hours result in people not being allowed to get into your bank branch then you will fullfill your own prophesy? If you’re not open then how can people transact meaningful business? How do the working class (9-5 hours) get in there?

      Or..does that mean if Spanish-speaking customers follow Paco Villasenor (the former “face” behind Banco) down to the main branch where he is now stationed…that these transactions will ring up under Main Branch activity and you will again fullfill your own prophesy? One transaction for the Main Branch and none for Banco De Sonoma?

      Something just doesn’t add up reading into your statement. Carefully crafted…that must have come from the Headquarters thinktank huh?

    4. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      While we’re at it let’s review Jarvis’ letter going out to thousands of customers in the US Postal Service (this PO fact may become key later):

      Signed by Ginny Jarvis, customer service manager, the letter states, “Please be assured that Westamerica Bank is not planning to close these branches in February as has been published in the newspapers.”

      So….if the branches are not closed in February as the papers have been signaling (again Christine Coulston told us this at the City Council Meeting Oct 6th, 2010), does that mean you may still file an application to close the branches in March, April, May or every month thereafter?

      Do we walk on eggshells then every day wondering when you might “fullfill your own prophesy?”

      Gimme a break. THIS is Westamerica’s PRESS RELEASE? Coulston is the official VOICE of the company? She flip-flops more than a Politician in a deep fryer. Where is Scrip the CRA Officer and most importantly where is David Payne?

      Anybody that knows David Payne, President/CEO knows NOTHING is official until it comes from him. Period. I do respect his methods of Leadership…but I wanna hear it from him. Is David Payne saying…Westamerica is dedicated to lending and providing banking services in the Springs?

      Please Sonoma Valley Sun News…get a quote from THE source.

    5. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      Might I remind the public here in Sonoma Valley…using the US Postal Service to spread information that could later prove to be “misleading” to generate business profits (maintain customers or attract new deposits) may prove to be a real problem. I certainly hope there is no intention on the part of Westamerica to “QUELL THE MASSES” with an “opiate” and then stab us in the back a short time in the future…after they:

      Fullfill their own prophesy….

      Time will tell. I’m not drinking the Kool-Aid just yet. Nor is The Grassroots Effort to SAVE Banco de Sonoma.

      We now have our finger on the button for “The Nuclear Option.” (symbolically speaking of source…dozens of Letters from “protected” constituencies are waiting in the wings to be recorded as CRA complaints). Waiting for official word. But not for long.

    6. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      The bank reiterates the position in a letter responding to mailed inquiries. Signed by Ginny Jarvis, customer service manager…

      Then above letters referenced are considered Public Comments and are all logged in official bank records and made available to Regulators and any person of interest as part of the CRA Public File request per the Community Reinvestment Act.

      Westamerica is denying The Grassroots access to these letters even though the Law states these letters AND management responses to all letters are matters of public concern and should be made available within 30 days of the receipt and mailing of response.

      The Grassroots is poised to file additional complaints if a definitive Press Release and committment to Sonoma Valley branches (including Boyes Hot Springs and Glen Ellen) before month end.

    7. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      Oops…I meant The Grassroots is poised to file additional complaints if a definitive Press Release and committment to Sonoma Valley branches (including Boyes Hot Springs and Glen Ellen) IS NOT RECEIVED before month end.

    8. Tim says:

      Um, noun: prophecy verb: prophesy

    9. Ralph Hutchinson says:

      Whatever. Did you lose the message in the word? You keep swatting the flies, we’ll keep bagging the elephants Tim. Thanks for the typo headsup. Maybe I will let you proof my blogs from now on. ID yourself or shoot me an email. I’m easy to find.

    10. Tim says:

      Ralph, appreciate the work you’re doing in keeping the Bank accountable. You used the word a few times, so thought I’d clarify.