Frequently Asked Questions
Who is Bank of the Sierra?
Bank of the Sierra is a community bank headquartered in Porterville, CA. They are a safe and strong bank, dedicated to the people and businesses we serve. The bank’s promise is to “…help make every community we’re part of better.” This dedication and commitment to service are embodied daily by the employees throughout our organization.
Bank of the Sierra offers a full range of retail and commercial services at 35 locations throughout California including the Central Valley, Central Coast and SoCal.
Bank of the Sierra gives back to its communities in a variety of ways throughout the year, including a grant program designed to help local non-profit organizations with special programs and needs.
Where are Bank of the Sierra’s branches located?
Bank of the Sierra maintains 34 branches, an online branch, a Loan Production Office, a real estate industries center, an agricultural loan center, and an SBA center. View a full list of locations at https://www.bankofthesierra.com/branches-atms/.
Who is Ojai Community Bank and where are their branches located?
Ojai Community Bank is a community bank headquartered in Ventura County, California. They are a strong, community-focused organization, regularly awarded “Best Bank” by their community members.
Ojai Community Bank also operates three divisions:
- Ventura Community Bank in Ventura;
- Santa Barbara Community Bank in Santa Barbara;
- and Santa Paula Community Bank in Santa Paula.
Who is being acquired and what does this mean?
Ojai Community Bank, and each of its three divisions, will be acquired by Bank of the Sierra. This means all current and future customers of Ojai Community Bank will soon have access to all Bank of the Sierra locations, ATMs, products and services. Additionally, all Ojai Community Bank physical locations, digital/physical assets, and existing signage, will be rebranded to Bank of the Sierra.
Why is the acquisition taking place?
In early 2017, Ojai Community Bank and Bank of the Sierra entered negotiations to finalize the acquisition of OCB’s branches. Both banks agree that the decision reflects the best interests of the customers, who will continue to receive the highest level of financial service. After the acquisition, customers of both banks will enjoy an expanded branch and ATM network.
What is the difference between acquisition, transition and conversion?
An acquisition is a corporate action in which one bank buys another bank’s ownership stakes and assumes control of it. When we refer to a “transition” or “transition period” we are referring to the period of time between the acquisition and the conversion. The “conversion” takes place when Ojai Community Bank’s accounts, checks, debit cards, online banking, branding and systems convert to that of Bank of the Sierra.
Will the Ojai, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Santa Paula locations remain open?
Each of the Ojai Community Bank branches complement the branches in Bank of the Sierra’s current footprint, with overlap only occurring in the City of Santa Paula. As with all acquisitions, each location is evaluated carefully with the best interests of the customers, employees and shareholders in mind.
When will the acquisition be finalized?
The acquisition is scheduled to be finalized in late 2017.
How will this affect customers’ debit cards and checks?
Through the transition in late 2017, new Bank of the Sierra MasterCard Debit Cards will be ordered for all customers at no charge. Once the new card is received, customers will need to update any recurring payments that are linked to their old card.
Customers should continue to use their Ojai Community Bank checks. After the transition, subsequent check orders will have the Bank of the Sierra logo, as well as the new account number and routing number.
How will this affect customers' bank accounts?
Bank of the Sierra offers a variety of competitive accounts very similar to the accounts offered by Ojai Community Bank. At the time of the transition, Bank of the Sierra will align customer accounts to the Bank of the Sierra account which most closely resembles the features and rates of their previous Ojai Community Bank account. We’ll do our part to ensure that we minimize any interruption of services to customer accounts.
How will this affect where customers mail their loan payment?
Customers should continue to make their loan payments as usual, until further notice.
Will there be any other effects on customers’ loans?
The acquisition will not have any impact on your existing loan rates, terms or conditions.
How will this affect the fees customers currently pay?
Bank of the Sierra offers accounts very similar to the accounts offered by Ojai Community Bank, and Bank of the Sierra will make every attempt to match your current account with the account types we offer. Specific account information, including fee schedules and other documentation will be sent out as we get closer to the date of acquisition.
How will this affect my direct deposit?
Your direct deposits will be credited to your account as they are today. Any necessary changes to the routing numbers and/or account numbers will be handled by Bank of the Sierra.
How will this affect online banking/mobile banking/bill pay/automatic payments?
The online banking platforms of both banks are very similar, so it should be an easy transition to Bank of the Sierra’s systems. Bank of the Sierra will be working to make this transition as seamless as possible for all Ojai Community Bank customers. Any questions regarding functionalities of our system(s) can be directed to customer service at 1-888-454-BANK (2265).
Will I have a different routing number?
Yes. After the conversion, your new routing number will be 121137027.
If investors have any questions about their Ojai Community Bank stock, who should they contact?
Investors should continue to use their normal Ojai Community Bank contact until the acquisition is complete.
How will this affect Ojai Community Bank branch staff?
You will still receive great, quality service and see many of the same friendly faces.
Where can customers get more information?
Bank of the Sierra is here to help. Our goal is to answer any and all questions and concerns to make this transition as smooth and trouble-free as possible for Ojai Community Bank customers. For further information, customers can visit www.BankoftheSierra.com/GrowingWithYou, or call the toll free Customer Service Center, 888-454-BANK during regular business hours. Bank of the Sierra’s website also contains detailed information about its products and services, and branch locations and hours. Current Ojai Community Bank customers may also call or stop by any current Ojai Community Bank location with questions about the transition.