Sterling to rename California banks

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Sterling Financial Corp., which acquired Vancouver-based First Independent in 2012, will rename its California operations under the Argent Bank brand, The Spokesman-Review has reported. The decision reflects a push by Spokane-based Sterling, parent of Sterling Bank, to grow operations in California, said company President and COO Ezra Eckhardt. The move affects three separate bank purchases in California.

Borrego Springs Bank and Sonoma National Bank — acquired earlier by Sterling — will be renamed Argent beginning in September. Commerce National Bank, based in Southern California, will be renamed after Sterling completes its $42.9 million purchase later this year. Together the three bank companies have 16 branches, most of them in the San Francisco area.