Press Release


Fresno, Calif | Mar 29, 2011

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Bank of the West Grows, Becomes #2 Banker to U.S. Agriculture

Bank of the West's specialized Agribusiness Banking Division recently overtook Bank of America as the second-largest bank lender to U.S. production agriculture as reported by Ag Lender Magazine.

With $3 billion in agricultural loans at the end of 2010, Bank of the West has been steadily growing its agriculture business, rising from the number three spot achieved in 2007 with $2 billion in loans.  With offices strategically located in Western and Midwestern agricultural centers including Napa, Modesto, Chino, Omaha, Des Moines, Sioux Falls and Minneapolis, Bank of the West trails only Wells Fargo in lending volume.

"Agricultural relationships are an important part of our business at Bank of the West," said Roger Sturdevant, executive vice president in charge of the division. "With more than 700 retail and commercial locations across the West and Midwest - many serving rural communities - Bank of the West offers agricultural customers all the tools and expertise of a major financial institution with the relationship approach of a community bank."

The Agribusiness Division supports customers in 34 states, including those far from traditional bank branches.  These relationships are enabled by technology that allows farms and processors to conduct transactions electronically from their own offices.

Bank of the West lenders have deep industry and crop expertise enabling them to partner with customers and understand the dynamics of their businesses be it vineyards, nurseries, poultry, tree fruit and nuts, dairy, cattle or their related processors, packers and shippers.

"Many of our lenders are recognized experts in their industry segments," said Sturdevant. "They have a seasoned understanding and a thoughtful approach to agriculture. We've been able to support our customers successfully through our pragmatic lending culture, and we are supportive of our clients through good weather, storms and drought. Consistency is something agribusiness people appreciate, whether in the downturn of recent years or in the commodity and land pricing boom farmers are now enjoying."

About Bank of the West: Bank of the West is a leader in customer service in banking. Based in San Francisco, the $58 billion-asset company was ranked "Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Retail Banking in California" in 2010 by J.D. Power and Associates. This is the third year in a row Bank of the West has received a customer satisfaction award for retail banking from J.D. Power and Associates. Bank of the West's holding company, BancWest Corporation, is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, among the six strongest banks in the world, according to Standard & Poor's. The Bank offers a full range of business, corporate, personal, trust and international banking services through more than 700 branch locations and commercial banking offices in 19 Western and Midwestern states. More information at www.bankofthewest.com.

Bank of the West received the highest numerical score among retail banks in California in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Retail Banking Satisfaction StudySM. Study based on 47,673 total responses measuring 8 providers in California and measures opinions of consumers with their primary banking provider.  Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January 2010.  Your experiences may vary.  Visit jdpower.com.

Media Contact:
Jim Cole
Vice President, Corporate Communications
Bank of the West
Office: (415) 399-8268; mobile: (415) 577-2639
Jim.cole@bankofthewest.com

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Media Contacts

  • Jim Cole
  • Corporate Communications
  • Phone: (415) 399-8268
  • Cell: (415) 577-2639
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: jim.cole@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Joel Nathanson
  • Social Media
  • Phone: (415) 399-8286
  • Cell: (415) 722-9722
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: joel.nathanson@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104
  • Lily Ruiz
  • Corporate Communications
  • Phone: (415) 765-4850
  • Cell: (415) 846-7494
  • Fax: (415) 399-8241
  • E-mail: lily.ruiz@bankofthewest.com
  • Address: 180 Montgomery Street
  • San Francisco, CA 94104