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Pacific Capital loses $431.3 million in 2009

By   /   Friday, March 12th, 2010  /   Comments Off on Pacific Capital loses $431.3 million in 2009

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Santa Barbara Bank & Trust parent Pacific Capital Bancorp said March 12 that it lost $431.3 million in 2009 and faces strong headwinds raising the capital it needs to satisfy its agreements with federal regulators.

In a regulatory filing, Pacific Capital said its total net loss for 2009 was $431.3 million, compared with $23.8 million the year before. It also said it expects no cash bonus for the tax-refund loan program it sold earlier this year for $10 million, a sum analysts have said is too low to fix the bank’s capital shortfall.

In April Pacific Capital agreed to a voluntary order from federal regulators to boost its capital reserves. It has missed those targets for three quarters in a row.

In its annual report, the company said it will have to raise money to remedy its capital shortage.

“The company’s ability to raise additional capital depends on conditions in the capital markets, which are outside the company’s control, and on the company’s financial performance,” Pacific Capital wrote in a filing. “Accordingly, the company cannot be certain of its ability to raise additional capital on acceptable terms, or at all.”

Pacific Capital also said it expects no cash bonus for the sale of its tax-refund loan program. It sold the program — which drew scrutiny from consumer advocates because of its fees but generated years of profits for the bank — for $10 million in January. In the deal, Pacific Capital stood to get a cash bonus if more than 750,000 tax-refund loans came through in the 2010 tax season.

The bulk of the loans happen in January and were already off 16 percent in 2009, evidence the business line was on the decline.

“[I]t is highly unlikely that any cash payment will be made based on the number of refund anticipation loans currently expected to be processed … during the 2010 tax season,” Pacific Capital wrote in its filing.

Pacific Capital said it had 1,164 employees at the end of 2009, down 208 from the year before.

The company’s report was filed after the markets closed. Its shares gained 7.4 percent March 12 to close at $1.45.

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