US Banker Names Westamerica Bank’s Holding Company the Nation’s Top Bank

During the toughest national economy since the 1930’s, a commitment to strength, stability, and integrity has earned Westamerica Bancorporation the number one rating among America’s mid-sized banks.
By: Tammy Holley
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Sept. 1, 2009 - PRLog -- US Banker Names Westamerica Bank’s Holding Company the Nation’s Top Bank

San Rafael, CA., August 10, 2009 – During the toughest national economy since the 1930’s, a commitment to strength, stability, and integrity has earned Westamerica Bancorporation —parent company of Westamerica Bank  - the number one rating among America’s mid-sized banks.

The August, 2009 edition of US Banker magazine named Westamerica Bancorporation, the “Best of the Bunch” and awarded Westamerica the top position as the “Top Mid-Tier Bank and Thrift Ranked by 3-Year Average ROE”.  US Banker ranked the top 100 mid-tier banks (with assets between $2 billion and $10 billion) in the nation and Westamerica Bancorporation was the only company in that group that boasts a 3-year average ROE above 20 percent.  Return on Equity (ROE) is considered a key financial performance indicator and measures how well a company earns profits on behalf of its shareholders.  Westamerica Bancorporation has consistently been ranked in the top 10 of mid-tier banks, but this year is the first year to be ranked in the number one position.

Westamerica Bancorporation, CEO and Chairman, David Payne explains, “our focus on maintaining a high-quality loan portfolio, building a low-cost funding base, and managing to low operating costs generates earnings that are consistently stronger than our peers”.  “To maintain such a high 3 year average ROE takes considerable discipline, focus on sound business practices, and staying the course – even during the troublesome environment the banking industry is experiencing”.  

“We are honored to receive U.S. Banker’s top rating as it validates what we have been doing for many many years” adds Payne.  “We feel privileged to serve our customers and communities and are indebted to our shareholders for believing in us.  We want our customers to know they have a safe and secure bank with which to conduct all their banking needs.  We plan on staying the course for the long haul”.

Westamerica Bancorporation, through its wholly owned subsidiary Westamerica Bank, operates commercial banking offices throughout Northern and Central California. At June 30, 2009, the Company's total assets and total loans outstanding were $5.2 billion and $3.4 billion, respectively


This press release contains forward-looking statements about Westamerica Bancorporation for which it claims the protection of the safe harbor provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Examples of forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to: (i) projections of revenues, expenses, income or loss, earnings or loss per share, the payment or nonpayment of dividends, capital structure and other financial items; (ii) statements of plans, objectives and expectations of the Company or its management or board of directors, including those relating to products or services; (iii) statements of future economic performance; and (iv) statements of assumptions underlying such statements. Words such as "believes", "anticipates", "expects", "intends", "targeted", "projected", "continue", "remain", "will", "should", "may" and other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements but are not the exclusive means of identifying such statements.

These forward-looking statements are based on Management’s current knowledge and belief and include information concerning the Company’s possible or assumed future financial condition and results of operations. A number of factors, some of which are beyond the Company’s ability to predict or control, could cause future results to differ materially from those contemplated. The Company’s most recent quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2009 and annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission describe some of these factors. These factors include but are not limited to (1) the length and severity of current difficulties in the national and California economies and the effects of federal and state government efforts to address those difficulties; (2) liquidity levels in capital markets; (3) fluctuations in asset prices including, but not limited to, stocks, bonds, real estate, and commodities; (4) the effect of acquisitions and integration of acquired businesses including the recently acquired County Bank; (5) economic uncertainty created by terrorist threats and attacks on the United States, the actions taken in response, and the uncertain effect of these events on the national and regional economies; (6) changes in the interest rate environment; (7) changes in the regulatory environment; (8) significantly increasing competitive pressure in the banking industry; (9) operational risks including data processing system failures or fraud; (10) volatility of rate sensitive loans, deposits and investments; (11) asset/liability management risks and liquidity risks; and (12) changes in the securities markets. The Company undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date forward-looking statements are made.

Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made.

For additional information contact:

Westamerica Bancorporation
Robert A. Thorson, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, (707) 863-6840
Phone:(707) 863-6840
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