As of Monday, January 6, 2014
Customers of Yakima National Bank will soon see a few changes taking place. The bank has been purchased by Seattle's HomeStreet Bank. The changes, said Yakima National Bank President and CEO Jeff Newgard, will not include replacing the friendly faces with whom customers have developed a relationship. He said HomeStreet Bank's purchase of the local institution, which has a branch office in Sunnyside, will be positive for all involved. "Our lending limit will improve," said Newgard, stating Yakima National Bank was limited to lending approximately $1.5 million. "We used other community banks as partners, but the process was tedious when we needed to loan money beyond our limit," he said. HomeStreet Bank has greater assets and the merger will result in more than $20 million in lending power. "We can do a lot more lending," said Newgard. He believes Sunnyside customers will appreciate the new firm's presence in the community. That's because "...HomeStreet is very serious about donating to the communities it serves." Newgard said through donations and sponsorships of community organizations and events HomeStreet has the "...ability to be truly active in the community." HomeStreet purchased Yakima National Bank, based in Yakima, for approximately $10.3 million. President and CEO of HomeStreet Bank Mark K. Mason said his institution is looking forward to growing its services to Central and Eastern Washington. Newgard, said Mason, will serve as HomeStreet's executive vice president and regional president. With the acquisition, HomeStreet Bank will have 29 branches to serve customers throughout Washington state. Newgard said HomeStreet offers customers a wider variety of products like remote check cashing and mobile deposit services. "I think that will be real nice for our rural customers who will be able to stay on the farm and get their work done if they so choose," he said. "Our number one priority was to make sure there's a good fit...otherwise, this wouldn't work," Newgard stated. He said he spent a lot of time getting to know the HomeStreet Bank team. "They are good, down-to-earth people," Newgard said, stating he is confident about the merger. He believes the customers, shareholders and community will greatly benefit from the changes taking place. "It's a win-win and gets HomeStreet on this side of the mountains."