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Tory Nixon

Expert Insights: Community Banks

Tory Nixon is the executive vice president and president of the San Diego Division of California Bank & Trust. He has nearly 20 years of banking and finance experience, including executive positions at Bank of America and Bay Area Development Company. Nixon oversees the bank’s operations in San Diego and Riverside counties and is a member of the its Executive Management Committee and the Asset and Liability Committee..

How will regulations from the Dodd-Frank Act affect community and regional banks?

The Dodd-Frank Act will affect the banking industry and the consumer heavily. However, for us, California Bank & Trust (CB&T) is, and has always been, a relationship bank. CB&T has not relied heavily on promotional pricing, free-checking or rewards on debit cards as a way to raise income. At CB&T we’re focused on the relationship versus the transaction. This allows us as a community bank to have flexibility and focus on the value of the relationship in determining pricing. What is the current state of demand for loans from small businesses, and how much ability do community and regional banks have to meet that demand?

Demand from qualified borrowers is increasing but is still lower than it has been in previous stronger economic times. As a result of the recent economic slowdown, businesses are being very conservative in hiring, spending, managing inventories, borrowing, etc. and are paying down loans. Businesses are exercising great care in determining their borrowing needs. With that said, CB&T is in the business to lend, and is actively lending to qualified borrowers.

Tory Nixon

How does continued consolidation of the biggest banks affect community banks?

Clients who come to community banks such as CB&T are looking for seasoned lenders and bankers who are involved with their communities. Community banks also have the added benefit of local decision making for lending, and can often respond faster. While the industry continues to consolidate, CB&T will continue to attract customers who value these attributes when deciding where to bank.

-Compiled by Andrew Keatts

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