Biz Buzz: Proposed local bank wins key approval

American Principle Bank — the latest bank to be proposed in the county — recently cleared a major hurdle on the road to opening its doors.

The Department of Financial Institutions — the entity that approves California state charters —OK’d an application for the bank’s founders to open a full-service commercial bank in San Luis Obispo.

The bank is expected to open in early August at 4051 Broad St., said Dave Booker, the former chief executive officer and president of First Bank of San Luis Obispo and the president and chief executive officer of the proposed American Principle Bank. The bank’s founders are still awaiting written approval from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to receive deposit insurance. They have also prepared an offering circular, which must be approved by the Department of Financial Institutions.

If approved, the bank’s executives will begin a $40 million capital raising effort in the early summer.

Right now, Booker said that he is focused on selecting an information-technology platform for the bank, which will primarily serve small- and mid-size businesses.

“The major thing that we want to do is have our IT platform completely implemented so we are rolling it out right the first time,” he said, adding that the bank will be “high-touch, high-tech and 21st-century.”

In addition to Booker, Mark Andino, who had previously been the chief financial officer at First Bank, and more recently was acting as the chief administrative officer of Rabobank NA, is the chief financial officer and chief operating officer for the proposed bank. Ken Long has been named the chief information officer, having been in a similar role at First Bank.

Booker confirmed that several other senior officer positions, including chief credit officer, controller, director of operations, director of retail banking and director of real estate lending, have been filled and will be revealed as the approval process continues.

-Ermina Karim

Interruptions continue as Charter upgrades

Charter Communications customers may experience brief interruptions in their cable television or Internet service as the company continues to upgrade its operations systems, Edward Merrill, vice president and general manager, said on Wednesday.

Customers attempting to reach certain secure Web sites, such as individual banking programs or e-mail sites, may have continued difficulty as crews troubleshoot a host of upgrades to the cable system.

The interruptions came a day after all of Charter’s 65,000 customers lost service from midnight to 6 a.m. Tuesday and experienced sporadic problems throughout the day. Company officials estimate they received about 500 complaints and 200 phone calls in that time.

Crews continued troubleshooting problems stemming from the company’s plans to move its operations from outlying hubs to an improved site on Bridge Street in San Luis Obispo. Doing so, Merrill said, will allow Charter to offer telephone service and on-Demand television programs.

This is the first in a three-phase effort to consolidate the satellite hubs, he said. The company plans to send letters and take out advertising once dates to begin the remaining two phases are set.

For more information, call Charter at 544-1962.

—Stephen Curran

Donate to United Way and make Mom’s day

Supporters of United Way of San Luis Obispo County can treat moms to an online surprise for Mother’s Day. When donors make a contribution on the nonprofit’s Web site,, they can designate another person to get a special e-greeting, letting moms know about the donation. Mother’s Day donations must be made by May 14.

—Tonya Strickland

Seminar will cover anti-aging strategies

A seminar on the latest anti-aging strategies will be held at The Carlton Hotel today. Dr. Roman Bukachevsky, a local anti-aging specialist, will present current nonsurgical ways to counteract signs of aging.

The seminar is free, but reservations are required. The event begins at 7:30 p.m. at 6005 El Camino Real in Atascadero. Call 434-5960 to reserve a seat.

—Dawn Rapp

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