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Davis accepts that there are some very real issues to grapple with particularly on the employment front and in the housing market, which needs evidence of bottoming and continued absorption of excess inventory but the public needs reassurance on reasons to be optimistic to lead the pull out of our current downturn.
Davis added: "It was predominantly residential development where we suffered our pain, but we recognized that fairly early and chose a strategy of dealing with the issue quickly."
And after acquisitions in the northern and central California markets in recent years, Umpqua has also assembled a team of bankers with expertise in the wine industry which could lead to more business in the blossoming vineyards of Oregon and Washington.
"This helped spur programs like the 'no documentation' or stated income loans, sometimes even termed 'liar loans' with little or no verification of income (or so called alternative documentation) that made it easier to get into a house.
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The national banks primarily created the environment, but Davis accepts that community banks such as Umpqua also played a part by making too many loans to speculative Omega Seamaster 300m Vs Tudor Pelagos housing project developers.
"Once the subprime business took off, supply and demand got out of whack. Places like Bend got overbuilt and prices skyrocketed.
He also disputed a "myth" that the banks were all to blame for the current woes.
It also remains committed to its roots as a community bank, as exemplified by its contribution of 25,719 associate volunteer hours through its Connect Volunteer Network (Connect), an industry leading volunteer program, in 2008.
TALF (Term Asset Backed Securities Loan Facility) which may help get consumer credit rolling again. Known by some as the "consumer bailout," TALF is aimed at helping financial markets dealing with consumer asset backed securities like auto loans, credit card debt, and student loans.
dried up and impacted consumer spending. Banks have never 'frozen' lending and our mortgage loan volume is in fact substantially up this quarter compared to last."
Indeed, it was back in early 2007 that Umpqua saw the writing on the wall and called a halt to residential development lending.
He is encouraged that the government is now taking action via the latest stimulus initiative known as Omega Watches With Price
Davis said dealing with the situation promptly helped the bank retain a solid base and, together with the fact that the institution is well capitalized, "Wall Street is confident in our abilities."
Davis who recently addressed a packed forum at Bend's Tower Theatre where he gave a local perspective on the national economic picture said the media generally had done a "poor job" of reporting anything positive, instead focusing on a seeming deluge of bad news.
It currently has over 150 outlets and has also expanded through taking over smaller banks and the ongoing opening of new branches, such as in Vancouver, Washington, and Sacramento, California set for this year.
Owned by parent company Umpqua Holdings Corp., Umpqua Bank continues to be the largest regional bank in the Northwest, with deposits totaling some $6.67 billion as reported by the FDIC for year end 2008.
"But when all the public sees on TV and hears in the media is negative coverage, it creates a kind of numbness and inertia."
"That is where a lot of activity Omega Seamaster Automatic
CEO Ray Davis said: "Consumer confidence has been deeply shaken, but the American consumer is notoriously resilient. They have dug us out of recession before, and will again."
year to serve at youth focused organizations, schools and community development programs.
Davis affirms Umpqua is well capitalized and continually on the lookout for new lending teams and new markets making it ideally placed to be in a strong position in the future when the economy returns to an upswing.
He pins a lot of the current tribulations on stemming from a housing market that grew "unsustainably", commenting: "I don't have a crystal ball, but the problems probably originated back in 2003 and 2004 when there was push in Congress to encourage home ownership through initiatives like the Community Reinvestment Act.
Meanwhile, Umpqua Bank is still very much focused on working with its core small business customers, Davis said, but is also always looking at new ways to operate.
The new consumer program will allocate $200 billion to $1 trillion by the Federal Reserve to security holders of consumer backed debt, essentially seeking to insure the debt if a borrower defaults.
It reported that its balance sheet was likely to be negatively impacted by the exposure and as its stock price suffered, took steps to deal with the troubled assets.
"When growth becomes unsustainable it is going to crash at some point, and that is what happened with the housing market, which rippled through the entire economy."
out of its current economic turmoil, says Umpqua Bank's top official.
"There are a lot of good things going on in the economy right now," said Davis, "The housing market is readjusting and we have seen buyer volume increase; mortgage rates are near records lows, helping a refinance surge; the government is engaged in addressing the economic issues, and the stimulus effort is starting to filter through.
The speed at which the market dropped took everyone by surprise, but the "abuses" that occurred on Wall Street were a major contributory factor now being addressed in the form of tighter regulation.
Consumer Confidence Crucial to Economic Turnaround
It recently announced the creation of a new "eco banking" division aimed at offering financing for small businesses and homeowners to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects through a variety of programs.
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