Business

Stock offering to boost SCB lending

by AMANDA WINTERS
Sequim Gazette

Sound Community Bank plans to increase and diversify its lending practices after going public last week.

Sound Financial Inc. announced Aug. 17 its shareholders and the depositors of Sound Community Bank approved a plan of conversion and reorganization to convert to a stock holding company form of organization. Sound Financial Bancorp, Inc., the proposed stock holding company for the bank, also announced the results of its offering of shares of common stock in connection with the conversion, according to a news release.

 

Sound Community Bank is a Seattle-based community bank, providing personal and business banking services in King, Pierce, Snohomish and Clallam counties.

 

The stock holding company expects to sell more than 1.4 million shares of common stock at $10 per share, for gross offering proceeds of $14 million in its stock offering.

 

Chief Executive Officer Laurie Stewart, originally from Sequim, said in many ways the most important thing the stock offering means for the bank and its customers is that the bank will have the capacity to do more lending and provide more services.

 

“In today’s market, capital is king,” she said, adding this is an opportunity for growth for lending, products and services.

 

The bank conducts consumer loans, residential loans and business loans, she said. With the increase in capital through the stock offering, the bank will be able to offer loans it hasn’t in the past, she said.

 

Stewart said while Sound has experienced changes like any other bank following the recession, it didn’t have as much exposure to the downturn as some banks did.

 

“One of the things that was to our benefit going into this cycle was although we are very strong home lenders, we also had a pretty good diversification of our balance sheet and we weren’t invested in just one kind of lending,” she said.

 

Chief Financial Officer Matt Deines said, “We’ve really been focused, always, but in particular in the last two years, on growing our capital through the profitability of the bank.”

 

Stock offering gives the bank the opportunity to raise additional capital, which contributes to the strength of the bank, he said.

 

The bank has remained strong on its own, which was important to show before asking shareholders to invest, he said.

 

Deines said the bank itself won’t really have any significant changes as a result and the existing holding company will roll into the new holding company. The bank has had shareholders since 2008 and they will continue to own the shares they have, he said.

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