SOURCE: First California Financial Group

First California Financial Group

March 07, 2012 08:00 ET

First California Announces New Customer for Its EPS Division

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 7, 2012) - First California Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCAL), the holding company of First California Bank, today announced that its Electronic Payments Services (EPS) division has been awarded a five-year contract with Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG).

Under the contract, EPS has developed an ACH electronic tax refund transfer program aligned with a prepaid card program. Unlike refund anticipation loans where the amount received may differ from the refund amount, EPS's refund transfer program provides TPG customers access to their tax refund amount quickly and easily, while avoiding check-cashing fees.

"This contract award helps position First California Bank as one of the leading providers of Refund Transfers," said Ron Santarosa, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of First California Financial Group. "Our EPS division has performed extremely well since we acquired the business in April 2011. This new relationship and others EPS is formulating will double revenues for the division without adding significant expenses."

"TPG is the largest preparer of Refund Transfers in the U.S., with more than a 40 percent market share," said Jim Tingey, president of the EPS division. "Over the course of the contract, we expect TPG to generate in excess of three million tax return refund transactions. This collaboration allows TPG to diversify its banking relationships, help grow its business, and through the Diamond Plus Prepaid Card provide added convenience for TPG's tax return preparers and customers."

"As we are well into the 2012 tax season, First California Bank has proven its reputation is well deserved as an emerging leader in Southern California banking," said Rich Turner, chief executive officer of the Santa Barbara Tax Products Group. "This relationship was instrumental in helping Santa Barbara Tax Products Group expand its servicing capacity, preserve business continuity and launch the Diamond Plus Prepaid Card product."

About Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG)
Santa Barbara Tax Products Group (TPG) was founded in 2010 upon purchasing the Tax Products Division of Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. TPG offers quality financial products to the e-file industry that satisfy consumers' needs, are priced fairly and provide true value. TPG is investing in long term relationships by providing tax professionals with a program to help retain and grow business for years to come.

About First California
First California Financial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCAL) is the holding company of First California Bank. Founded in 1979 and with nearly $2 billion in assets, First California serves the comprehensive financial needs of small- and middle-sized businesses and high net worth individuals throughout Southern California. Led by an experienced team of bankers, First California is committed to providing the best client service available in its markets, offering a full line of quality commercial banking products through 19 full-service branch offices in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. The holding company's website can be accessed at www.fcalgroup.com. For additional information on First California Bank's products and services, visit www.fcbank.com.

Forward-Looking Information
This press release contains certain forward-looking information about First California that is intended to be covered by the safe harbor for "forward-looking statements" provided by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements, and include statements related to the level of business volumes, the monitoring of and management of risks in First California's loan portfolio, the adequacy of sources of liquidity to support First California's operations and strategic plans, the monitoring of and response to changing market conditions, and the status of the economy in the Southern California communities served by First California. Such statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and are generally beyond the control of First California. First California cautions readers that a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by, such forward-looking statements. Risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, revenues are lower than expected, credit quality deterioration which could cause an increase in the provision for credit losses, First California's ability to complete future acquisitions, successfully integrate such acquired entities, or achieve expected beneficial synergies and/or operating efficiencies within expected time-frames or at all, changes in consumer spending, borrowing and savings habits, technological changes, the cost of additional capital is more than expected, a change in the interest rate environment reduces interest margins, asset/liability repricing risks and liquidity risks, general economic conditions, particularly those affecting real estate values, either nationally or in the market areas in which First California does or anticipates doing business are less favorable than expected, a slowdown in construction activity, recent volatility in the credit or equity markets and its effect on the general economy, loan delinquency rates, the ability of First California to retain customers, changes in the bank regulatory environment, demographic changes, demand for the products or services of First California as well as their ability to attract and retain qualified people, competition with other banks and financial institutions, First California's level of small business lending, and other factors. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or if any of the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements proves to be incorrect, First California's results could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied or projected by such forward-looking statements. First California assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements. For a more complete discussion of risks and uncertainties, investors and security holders are urged to read the section titled "Risk Factors" in First California's Annual Report on Form 10-K and any other reports filed by it with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"). The documents filed by First California with the SEC may be obtained at the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. These documents may also be obtained free of charge from First California by directing a request to: First California Financial Group, Inc., 3027 Townsgate Road, Suite 300, Westlake Village, CA 91361. Attention: Investor Relations. Telephone (805) 322-9655.

Contact Information

  • For further Information:

    At the Company:
    Ron Santarosa
    805-322-9333

    At PondelWilkinson:
    Robert Jaffe
    310-279-5969

    Corporate Headquarters Address:
    3027 Townsgate Road, Suite 300
    Westlake Village, CA 91361