People’s Bank of Commerce (Medford) and Willamette Community Bank (Albany) have announced a merger.

Note : I proudly serve on the board of People’s Bank and offered to include the shareholder mailing about the merger in this months journal. This is not a solicitation or recommendation to any shareholders. It’s just a story and insert (by a sponsor of the Southern Oregon Business Journal – I’d do the same for any of our sponsors) about a Southern Oregon based bank growing by merging with another bank in this publications coverage area. 

Let me also recap for you what you will find inside:

The combined bank will become the 4th largest bank headquartered in Oregon and will give People’s Bank new markets to serve. 

By merging PBCO and WMCB, the opportunity to serve more clients along the I-5 corridor will grow. This new organization will have nine branch locations from Southern Oregon to the Willamette Valley.

WMCB customers will continue to do business with the three existing branches as “Willamette Community Bank, a division of People’s Bank of Commerce.”


Strategically Attractive and Financially Compelling 

  • Pro-forma assets of $710 million which ranks as fourth largest bank headquartered in the state of Oregon.
  • A larger, stronger community banking franchise pro-forma.
  • Market expansion for PBCO into Salem and Albany MSAs.
  • Increases diversification for loans, deposits, geographic footprint and revenue mix.
  • Larger size creates synergies and economies of scale.
  • Complementary offering of products and services – PBCO offers mortgage and factoring products which can be
    leveraged in WMCB’s markets.

Aligns with PBCO and WMCB’s strategic plan – focus on quality, sustainability and profitable growth.

Overview of People’s Bank of Commerce 

  • Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Medford, Oregon.
  • People’s Bank of Commerce stock trades on the over-the-counter market under the symbol PBCO
  • Six branch locations in Jackson, Josephine, and Klamath counties.
  • $500 million in total assets.
  • $373 million in total loans, including
  • $95.1 million in PPP loans. 

Overview of Willamette Community Bank 

  • Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Albany, Oregon.
  • Willamette Community Bank’s stock trades on the over-the-counter market under the symbol WMCB
  • Three branch locations in Salem, Albany and Lebanon, Oregon.
  • $210 million in total assets.
  • $147 million in total loans, including
  • $26 million in PPP loans. 

Strategic goals for the new organization: 

  • Continue to expand our services in our communities.
  • Continue to look for acquisition opportunities with banking institutions that align with our values and will help us achieve our goals and diversify our income streams.
  • Achieve operational efficiency and expand our market share by optimizing digital banking by providing new financial management technology to our customers.
  • Increase our portfolio of Individual, Partnership & Corporate (IPC) deposits.
  • Increase non-interest income generated by the mortgage department.
  • Continue to grow Steelhead Finance’s business and increase non-interest income.
  • Explore the process of taking the bank public to increase shareholder liquidity.

By Jim Teece
Southern Oregon Business Journal Publisher

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