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Friday, Feb 3, 2023
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Mission Valley Bank Closes Santa Clarita Branch

Mission Valley Bancorp plans to close a 4,000-square-foot Valencia branch at the end of the month. It had operated the branch since 2004 The closure will leave the Sun Valley-based community bank with one branch on Carl Boyer Drive in Santa Clarita and one on Sunland Boulevard in Sun Valley. Four positions will be eliminated with the closure: Two existing operations managers will be laid off and two teller positions that have relied on temporary employees will not be permanently filled. Chief Executive Tamara Gurney said the branch closure coincides with the bank’s five-year lease expiring at 25060 W. Avenue Stanford. The decision to let the lease lapse reflects changing technology in the banking industry rather than any financial difficulty at Mission Valley, which has assets of $265 million. “The bank is doing extremely well. In 2014 we grew our net loans by over $20 million,” Gurney told the Business Journal on Monday. The bank, a preferred SBA lender, last week approved its first-ever dividend payment to stockholders. The bank will pay 5 cents a share on or about March 27 to shareholders of record as of March 16. Because more people are banking electronically and fewer are writing paper checks, teller visits and foot traffic at banks across the country have fallen by double-digits in the past five years, Gurney said. That trend meant that the Valencia location, tucked away in a business park, was underutilized. “A branch of 4,000-square-feet is probably twice the size of what the branch of the future will look like. Some of them are down to kiosks of 1,000-square-feet now, because we don’t need big vaults and people don’t use safe deposit boxes like they used to,” she said. Mission Valley intends to open a second location in the Santa Clarita Valley eventually, but Gurney said the bank hasn’t yet determined what it will look like. She plans to gauge the opinion of customers and Santa Clarita Valley residents about how to configure what she calls a “bank of the future.” Shares closed up 10 cents, or nearly 2 percent, to $6.30 in over-the-counter trading.

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