Fresno First Bank Debuts New Name; Bank’s Capital Levels are Strong with Healthy Reserves and Diversified Source of Funding

FRESNO, Calif., March 13, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Communities First Financial Corporation (OCTQX: CFST), parent of Fresno First Bank, today announced that after seventeen years of being known as “Fresno First Bank,” the Fresno Community Bank will be changing its name to “FFB Bank” (the “Bank”). In light of recent events involving certain regional banks, the Bank also announced it continues to maintain strong capital levels and healthy reserves.

“With the sudden failure of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, we want to underscore the importance of maintaining strong capitalization and diversified sources of funding,” said Steve Miller, FFB Bank President and CEO. “Our capital levels are solid, and we have been consistently profitable, evidenced by the last two years of record earnings. We navigated through a similar time from April 2020 to October 2020 following the PPP and Banks’ COVID Loan deferrals, which stabilized credit quality and Capital fears.” The following (unaudited) financial information is provided considering the recent industry events.

As of March 10, 2023:

  • Total deposits have grown 4.2% to $1.127 billion from $1.081 billion at year-end 2022.
  • Cash and cash equivalents total over $57.7 million and represent 4.5% of total assets.
  • Total securities held to maturity total $3.5 million, or 0.27% of total assets.
  • Total securities available for sale were $325.0 million with the negative mark of $24.2 million reflected in Accumulated Other Comprehensive Income (AOCI)
  • Reliance on wholesale funding, which includes brokered deposits and overnight borrowing, decreased to $50 million from $84 million as of year-end.
  • FFB Bank has no exposure to venture capital or cryptocurrency.
  • No material changes in asset quality from year-end 2022.
  • FFB Bank has $440 million in secured lines of credit and $91 million in unsecured lines of credit available.

“Considering the recent events in the banking sector and general market, we wanted to communicate clearly with our customers, shareholders, and key stakeholders about where our bank stands from a balance sheet and profit strength standpoint. Our team has been actively engaged with our customers since last week answering their questions/concerns about the recent bank failures and also explaining to them the difference between our bank’s strategy and why we are confident in our position. Because of the location of our core franchise versus where these failures took place, our team is seeing opportunity to gain new customers and talent to join our team.”

Mr. Miller continued, “Over the last 6 months our team has been working diligently on a strategic initiative to change our bank’s name in order for us to have a more relevant name in new markets we are exploring. This name change is taking place over the course of this week. While we recognize our name change may be lost among the other banking stories circulating this week, the timing to debut FFB Bank as our new name was set in motion prior to last week’s events. The team is very excited about our new name, and we are looking forward to continuing to grow our franchise in a prudent manner moving forward.”

The decision to go by FFB Bank was made as part of the Bank’s strategy to continue to expand its business to new markets throughout the state of California and throughout the country. Without a location-based name, the Bank hopes to better resonate with customers outside of the California Central Valley. The universalized name will also reflect the FFB Bank staff’s focus on delivering a high-touch relationship no matter where a customer is based using industry-leading technology.

The name itself, “FFB Bank,” was chosen in part to honor the bank’s history as “Fresno First Bank.” However, the Bank is also encouraging people to personalize the meaning of the acronym through its new marketing campaign. The campaign is titled, “What’s your FFB?” and will be used as a promotion for the name change. It is set to launch with the release of various video segments asking staff what the acronym means to them.

“Changing the brand and making it more universal is the logical, necessary step for us to take,” explained Miller. “We have an opportunity to continue to grow in Fresno while also expanding beyond California’s Central Valley. We think that this is the right thing to do for our current and future customers, our shareholders and for our people.” To this end, the Bank has already begun establishing customer bases in Northern and Southern California as well as in 30 other U.S. states.

Miller also emphasized the Bank’s continued love for the Fresno community regardless of its plans to grow beyond the Central Valley. For local customers who have supported the Bank thus far, he stated, “I want them to take credit for our success and to feel proud that the Bank they’ve been supporting and working with for the past 17 years is now at the stage where we can grow beyond our traditional footprint. As we expand, we will be taking the core values and work ethic of the valley with us.”

Although the name is changing, FFB Bank will not be undergoing any other changes. The Bank will retain the same leadership, board, and staff as well as its local shareholders. FFB Bank also plans to remain a single-branch operation and serve its expanded customer base remotely while maintaining headquarters in Fresno, California. As a result, local customers who already bank with FFB Bank will still be able to interact with the staff in-person as usual.

The “What’s Your FFB” videos and campaign posts will be available for viewing at FFB Bank’s new social media handle,, on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Meanwhile, those interested in learning more about the Bank and its services can visit or contact an FFB Bank representative at (559) 439-0200.

About FFB Bank

Since opening in 2005, FFB Bank has been a single-branch operation in Fresno, California. The bank’s primary focus is on serving the needs of businesses, professionals and successful individuals throughout the country. As a leading SBA Lender in California’s Central Valley and one of the few direct acquiring banks in the United States, FFB Bank offers clients a range of personal and business checking accounts, payment processes and loan programs. Among FFB Bank’s awards and accomplishments, it was included in Forbes’ Best 25 Small Businesses in America for 2016, Inc.’s 5000 Fastest Growing Companies in 2017 and, most recently, the 2023 OTCQX Best 50 Companies.

Contact:Steve Miller – President & CEO
 Bhavneet Gill – Executive Vice President & CFO
 (559) 439-0200