We’re celebrating 19 consecutive 5-Star ratings from BauerFinancial

5starmar18Bank of Tucson is happy to share that independent rating and research firm BauerFinancial has awarded Grandpoint Bank and its divisions, Bank of Tucson, Regents Bank and The Biltmore Bank of Arizona, a nineteenth consecutive, quarterly 5-Star rating for strength, stability and soundness.

The March 2018 bank ratings are based on December 31, 2017 financial data filed with the government. Only banks BauerFinancial considers to be the strongest in the nation earn the 5-Star rating. Four- and five-star banks appear on BauerFinancial’s Recommended Report.

Criteria for earning the coveted 5-Star rating include the strength of the institution’s capital ratios, profitability/loss trends, loan quality, the market versus book value of the investment portfolio, regulatory supervisory agreements, the community reinvestment rating (CRA) and liquidity.

As the source for unbiased, independent bank and credit union star-ratings, BauerFinancial has become known as “the nation’s bank rating service” and has rated banks since 1983. Banks cannot pay to be rated nor opt out of being rated. Consumers may obtain free 5-Star ratings at bauerfinancial.com.

Thank you for your business and your trust, Tucson. We’re a 5-Star bank because we work with 5-Star clients.

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Help Us Save Lives at our Annual Blood Drive

Austin Chico

Austin Chico, Sr.

Come on out on Wednesday, March 7 for our 5th annual Bank of Tucson Blood Drive in honor of Austin Chico Sr. to benefit the American Red Cross. From 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m., we’ll have a Red Cross Bloodmobile at 4400 E. Broadway.

Each unit of blood can save up to three lives, and some of our past drives have raised nearly 20 units of blood, meaning 60 lives potentially saved through just one of our blood drives.

Erin Chico, our VP Customer Service Manager, lost her husband, Austin, four years ago to Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS). MDS is a diverse bone marrow disorder in which the bone marrow does not produce enough healthy blood cells. Erin and her family are passionate about the American Red Cross, as they relied on blood donations to support Austin throughout his treatment.

Whether the need is for medical treatment or natural disaster relief, it is important for The American Red Cross to have blood of all types available and Bank of Tucson is proud to be help meet that need.

To be eligible to donate blood, you must be in good general health and feeling well, be at least 17 years old in most states and weigh at least 110 pounds. To learn more about donating blood, you can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). If you can’t donate blood, or if you’re already a blood donor and want to do more, the American Red Cross is always recruiting volunteers.

A heartfelt thank you in advance to everyone who participates in our blood drive in honor of Austin Chico Sr.

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Investing in our community: Learning About Diabetes, Inc.

If you or a loved one was suddenly diagnosed with diabetes, where would you turn for information?

Fortunately, Tucsonian Paul Tracey, along with famous illustrator and co-founder of Push Pin Studios Seymour Chwast, created Learning About Diabetes, a non-profit charity that provides easy-to-understand information about diabetes care, in English and Spanish.

Paul, a retired advertising agency president who has found his next calling in life, has cleverly integrated Seymour’s art into his instructional materials to more universally communicate crucial information. While diabetes can be very effectively managed, combining the right information with a strong sense of vigilance can literally save someone’s life.

The Learning About Diabetes website is divided into information for consumers and information for healthcare providers. Each section offers important resources, as well as “stressbuster cartoons,” where Paul has relied on the graphic talents of visual art student Steve Yurko to provide some diabetes-themed whimsy to an otherwise serious topic.

Consumers and providers can download a plethora of instructional and informative materials about many facets of diabetes care, including blood sugar, diet, exercise, finances and more. The site also includes informative videos and public service announcements.

Current estimates suggest one in three Americans will get diabetes, which translates to one American developing diabetes every 23 seconds. How long has it taken you to read this article? How many more people developed diabetes while you were reading?

For communities throughout the nation, including ours, diabetes is a public health crisis we can’t afford to ignore. We learned that all funding for Learning About Diabetes comes from donations. To help support Paul’s important work, our president, Mike Hannley, presented a $2,500 donation to the organization.

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To learn more about how you can help, visit learningaboutdiabetes.org.screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Corbin Dangerfield Joins Government Guaranteed Lending Department at Grandpoint Bank

corbinWe’re happy to announce that Corbin Dangerfield has joined Grandpoint Bank’s Government Guaranteed Lending Department as a business development officer. Corbin will be responsible for marketing and originating government guaranteed loan products for Grandpoint Bank.

Grandpoint offers a variety of government guaranteed loan products that provide alternatives if a traditional credit product is not well suited for a small or medium-sized business. These include loans through the SBA, USDA and Export-Import Bank of the U.S. These government-backed loans require less cash investment up front and offer longer loan terms than conventional loans.

“Government guaranteed loans can help bridge the gap for businesses that otherwise would not have access to capital,” said Leticia Scearce, Senior Vice President/Government Guaranteed Lending Manager. “Corbin has specific expertise in this type of lending, and we’re happy to have him join our team of professionals.”

Corbin served in the same capacity previously for Meadows Bank in Las Vegas. His experience also includes serving as a vice president and business development officer at Lehman Brothers and as a commercial real estate broker at NAI Commercial Real Estate.

“Many SBA loans are made in support of real estate investments,” said Corbin. “My experience as a real estate broker combined with my expertise in banking and finance is especially helpful to my clients, regardless of the type of government guaranteed loan that suits them best. In my new position, I’m excited to offer clients the full resources and capabilities of Grandpoint’s government guaranteed lending team.”

Another reason Corbin wanted to join Grandpoint’s SBA/Government Guaranteed Lending Department was to be part of a team that can fund qualifying loan applications at the pace business moves.

“I also appreciate that our team understands larger, more complex deals, and that we are able to offer the whole array of Government Guaranteed Lending programs, not just the 7a and 504 loans.”

When he’s not working, Corbin enjoys outdoor recreational activities, especially when it’s with his kids.

We’re glad to have him on board, and we hope Corbin may be of service to your business if you’re considering a government guaranteed loan.

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CNBC/Survey Monkey Poll Reveals Small Business Vulnerability to Cyberattack

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“Hackers have breached half of the 28 millionscreen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am small businesses in the United States, according to the 2016 State of SMB Cybersecurity Report,” says a recently-released CNBC/SurveyMonkey Small Business Survey article about cyber security.

Through a survey of 2,000 small business owners across the nation conducted in April, the CNBC/Survey Monkey team found that only two percent of small business owners surveyed saw cyber security as “the most critical issue they face.”

Many business owners are more concerned about personnel, competition or benefits issues, but the resulting lack of focus on cyber security, combined with an attitude of ‘we’re too small to be targeted,’ may make these businesses more vulnerable to cyberattack, the article stated.

The article also cited Hemu Nigam, founder of SSP Blue, an internet security consulting business, and the former vice president of internet enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America, who said, “Hackers love small businesses [because] they don’t have the resources to put in high-end cybersecurity protection and they may not be consciously aware they are a target.”

The cost of not having a high-end cybersecurity protection system can be high as well. For a retailer, a credit card data breach can range from “$200 per transaction to $395 per transaction” to respond adequately to the breach, according to the report.

Cyberattacks against businesses can come in many forms (we suggest reading through our blog archives to learn more about these types of attacks and defensive steps to take). The CNBC/SurveyMonkey article’s authors recommend the following precautionary measures:

  • Use large service providers like WordPress and Gmail for your company’s website and email since they already have complex protection systems built in.
  • Refrain from checking personal accounts from a company computer.
  • Use a cloud-based service rather than keeping your information local.

For more cybersecurity tips, please check out our blog post “Nine Tips for Better Cybersecurity” on our website.

More information about the CNBC/Survey Monkey Small Business Survey can be found at the CNBC web page on the tech/cybersecurity page.

(Promoting cybersecurity best practices, Bank of Tucson recommends against clicking links provided by second-hand parties and chooses instead to provide written directions about how to find material we reference on our blog.)

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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Thanksgiving

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With cooler days and falling leaves, we know another year is soon behind us. But first, we gather to celebrate, count our blessings and reflect. Thanksgiving is unlike any other holiday we celebrate. It’s a day to gather with those we love and the friends we hold dear; a day to share a meal and to share each other’s company.

Whether your Thanksgiving celebration is near or far, large or small, we at Bank of Tucson wish you a wonderful day, filled with cheer and the warmth of the holiday season.

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Grandpoint Bank donates $10,000 to U.S. Vets

U.S. Vets intranetMembers of our Grandpoint Bank family, which includes Bank of Tucson, recently toured the Long Beach campus of U.S. Vets, an organization dedicated to helping veterans and their families make a successful transition to civilian life by providing housing, counseling, career development and comprehensive support. Our visit included the presentation of a $10,000 donation to the organization.

According to U.S. Vets, about 50,000 vets in our nation are homeless – men and women who have served valiantly for our country and now find themselves sleeping on the streets.

“Beyond the essentials, what I saw during our visit is that U.S. Vets is giving veterans back their self-respect,” says Darlene Esquerra, Senior Vice President & Community Development Office of Grandpoint Bank. “Everyone is treated with kindness by staff members and volunteers, who, in many cases, have had the same experiences as the veterans.”

U.S. Vets is the largest organization of its kind addressing the needs of homeless and at-risk veterans and their families in the U.S. Their Long Beach facility is located on 25 acres of former Naval housing and offers a variety of permanent and transitional housing – including a building for women veterans with up to two children and housing for homeless vets — dining facilities, community center, clinic, classrooms, recreational facilities and even an urban forest where residents can pick fruits and vegetables.

“Grandpoint Bank’s support of our programs across Southern California makes it possible for us to fill the gaps and really meet the unique needs of each one of the veterans we serve,” said Laney Kapgan, Vice President of Development and Communications for U.S. Vets. “With more service men and women coming home than ever before, this investment will help us continue to expand not only housing but also key employment and mental health programs for our veterans.”

Grandpoint was introduced to U.S. Vets through our Executive Vice President and CCO Mark Phillips, who struck up a conversation with U.S. Vets National Director of Programs, Larry Williams, on an airplane. Mark was so impressed with the program, he referred the information for consideration as a Grandpoint Bank Community Reinvestment Act-qualified donation. The rest, as they say, is history.

You can find more information about U.S. Vets on their website usvetsinc.org.

We’re proud to salute U.S. Vets for helping so many vets and their families, and we thank all the members of our armed services, past and present, for their dedication and selflessness.

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Bank of Tucson Promotes Rey Robles to Vice President

ReyPlease join us in congratulating Rey Robles, who was recently promoted to Vice President – Commercial Lending.

Rey specializes in commercial real estate lending, with a focus on construction, but his duties encompass all types of commercial loans and lines of credit. He also provides general banking services and manages client relationships.

Rey has 20 years of banking experience in Arizona, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in both Accounting and Finance from the University of Arizona and his MBA from University of Phoenix.

“Rey is an asset to our clients and to our bank,” said Mike Hannley, President of Bank of Tucson. “He genuinely enjoys the challenge of putting together a commercial loan deal unique to each client and situation.”

With a strong commitment to community service, Rey currently serves as a board member of both the Pima County Community Land Trust—which helps lower-income buyers purchase rehabbed homes—and the Arts Foundation for Tucson and Southern Arizona. He is a Pima County native who currently resides in Oro Valley with his wife and two teenage daughters.

His discipline and commitment extend to his personal life as well. For over seven years, Rey has been training in martial arts.

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Nonprofit Loan Fund of Tucson & Southern Arizona Earns Important Designation

BT Don JenksMany congrats to the Nonprofit Loan Fund (NPLF) of Tucson and Southern Arizona for being recognized by the U.S. Department of the Treasury as a Certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI). This designation will give NPLF access to loan funds through various Department of Treasury programs.

We have profiled NPLF previously on our blog for the good work it does providing financing to promote economic and community development in distressed and underserved areas. Don Jenks, Executive Vice President and Regional Credit Administrator for Bank of Tucson, chairs the NPLF board.

As Don pointed out, “[The NPLF] system is a win-win. Investors make a return on their investment while also helping many wonderful nonprofit organizations make a difference in our community.”

NPLF has provided nearly $2 million in loans to local nonprofits to help strengthen operations, bridge cash-flow gaps, further their initiatives and make them financially sustainable. Investors receive 2% interest, while NPLF lends money out to local nonprofits at approximately 8% interest rate. Loans range from $10,000 to $200,000 for up to five years.

After receiving the CDFI designation, NPLF applied for and will receive operational funds in the first quarter of 2018 to help run its operations. This funding will allow NPLF to bring on an additional staff member and free up the executive director to market the loan services available through NPLF to local nonprofit organizations.

“Loan demand from local nonprofits has been very strong this past year,” said Don. “More nonprofits are recognizing how NPLF can help them, but we still need to do a lot more to educate the nonprofit community about how an NPLF loan is structured to work for an organization that may not qualify for a conventional loan.”

The NPLF board plans to apply for additional funds from the U.S. Department of Treasury next year as well, this time to fund capital rather than operations.

“In the meantime, being a CDFI will also qualify NPLF to apply for community reinvestment act (CRA) funds from banks,” said Don.

Arizona Daily Star wrote about the CDFI designation for NPLF, pointing out that “NPLF is the only local CDFI to target nonprofit organizations throughout Southern Arizona.”

Locally, beneficiaries of NPLF loans include Southwest Folklife Alliance, Esperanza en Escalante, International School of Tucson, True Concord, Tucson Botanical Gardens, YWCA of Southern Arizona and more.

Many of the organizations have provided testimonials for NPLF’s website, including:

“’The NPLF loan made it possible for Tucson Botanical Gardens to move forward with confidence on major financial commitments.’ An NPLF loan was bridge financing during the pledge phase of a capital campaign [and] ensured that they could complete the new Visitors Center in time for opening of a new exhibit.”

NPLF loans have helped nonprofit organizations in our community strengthen Tucson’s reputation as a destination, educate Tucson citizens, build affordable housing and much more. It is a model for the dynamic relationship private citizens, businesses and nonprofit organizations can build to transform their communities for the better. And now, NPLF adds a Federal government agency to that formula for success.

Bank of Tucson is proud to support the efforts of Don and NPLF to elevate our community.

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Equifax Cyber Fraud Update

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On September 7, 2017, Equifax announced a cybersecurity incident potentially impacting approximately 143 million U.S. consumers.  Criminals exploited a website application vulnerability to gain access to certain files between mid-May through July 2017. The information accessed primarily includes names, Social Security Numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers. In addition, credit card numbers of approximately 209,000 U.S. consumers, and dispute documents with personally identifying information for 182,000 U.S. consumers were accessed.

To find out if you are one of the affected individuals, Equifax has established a dedicated website, equifaxsecurity2017.com,screen-shot-2016-09-13-at-11-07-51-am to help consumers and to sign up for free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection. The offering, called TrustedID Premier, includes 3-Bureau credit monitoring of Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion credit reports; copies of Equifax credit reports; the ability to lock and unlock Equifax credit reports; identity theft insurance; and Internet scanning for Social Security Numbers – all complimentary to U.S. consumers for one year. Equifax has also set up a dedicated call center number at 866-447-7559 and is open every day from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Eastern time.

Equifax will send direct mail notices to consumers who were directly impacted.  The above website and phone will allow concerned U.S. consumers to confirm if they were impacted. Grandpoint Bank recommends our customers review the free premium monitoring service provided by Equifax.

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This icon appears next to every link that directs to a third party website not affiliated with Bank of Tucson. Please be advised that if you click this link you will be taken to a website hosted by another party, where you will no longer be subject to, or under the protection of, the privacy and security policies of Bank of Tucson. We recommend that you review and evaluate the privacy and security policies of the site that you are entering. Bank of Tucson assumes no liability for the content, information, security, policies or transactions provided by these other sites.

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