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Sunwest Bank Announces Exceptionally Strong First Quarter

-Sunwest Bank’s assets grow by 20 percent year-over-year

-Sunwest Bank’s net income grows 100 percent year-over-year

TUSTIN, Calif., (May 13, 2009) – Sunwest Bank, one of the strongest and healthiest banks in California, announced that its net income grew 100 percent year-over-year for the first quarter, and that its assets grew by 20 percent during the same period.

“We didn’t take any TARP money because we didn’t need it,” notes Glenn E. Gray, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Tustin, California-headquartered Sunwest Bank.  “Our lending practices have been reasonable throughout what was an unreasonable period for our industry.  We have protected our depositor’s money, made smart loans, and are now reaping the benefits of that more savvy business conduct.”

Sunwest Bank’s first quarter numbers for 2009 show an increase in deposits of $71.8 million during the first three months of the year.   Sunwest Bank has also had an increase in its net income to $950,000 at the end of the first quarter of 2009, versus $420,000 for the previous year’s first quarter, equating to growth of just over 100 percent.  In addition, Sunwest Bank had new loan production of $22.7 million in just the first quarter of 2009.

“Depositors seeking a bank with a strong balance sheet, where their money is not only Federally insured, but is in a safe bank where they won’t have to worry about it, have flocked to Sunwest this year,” Gray added.

“In addition to gaining new deposits, we have also attracted a number of new borrowers who are enticed by our personal service, the fact that our experienced loan officers listen to them and learn about their business, and our practical approach to lending,” he said.

The fact that the bank has done a significant amount of lending in the current climate is also unique.

 “Sunwest Bank is strong and growing,” Gray explained.  “While other banks are seeking Federal funding, or are focused internally on a growing portfolio of non-performing loans, Sunwest Bank is still lending to strong entrepreneurs, as well as exploring acquisition opportunities, adding quality team members with exceptional banking expertise, and attracting depositors.  We are in a position of strength now based on our continued attention to solid business practices, as well as our focus on the needs of our customers.”

With nearly 40 years in business, Sunwest Bank, one of the strongest banks in California, partners with Southern California’s entrepreneurs to personally take their businesses to a new level of success.  The bank’s solid balance sheet includes significant liquidity, resulting in an ability to lend in an environment when many banks are unable.  Sunwest Bank has branch offices in Tustin, Anaheim, Newport Beach and Laguna Hills.  The bank specializes in meeting the needs of small and mid-size businesses, is an industry-recognized leader in homeowner association management banking, and has specialties in healthcare and security and defense-related businesses.  Additional information can be found at www.sunwestbank.com.