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Mission Bank arranges to sell Ridgecrest branch to AltaOne

The Bakersfield-based parent company of Mission Bank announced Friday is has agreed to sell its Ridgecrest branch — loans, deposits, facility, employees and all — to AltaOne Federal Credit Union.

If the deal receives regulatory approval and closes as expected in the second quarter of next year, it will reduce but not eliminate Mission's presence in eastern Kern at a time when the bank is solidifying its westward expansion.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. But the two institutions' joint news release said AltaOne will assume $24 million in loans and $34 million in deposits associated with Mission's business banking center at 1450 N. Norma St.

AltaOne was chartered in Ridgecrest in 1947. It now serves customers in Inyo, Kern and Mono counties with branches in Bakersfield, Bishop, Boron, California City, China Lake, Kernville, Lake Isabella, Lone Pine and Tehachapi.

"Next year will be our 75th year anniversary, and there is no better way to show our love and continued support of our hometown than to continue to invest in the city where we were founded," AltaOne CEO Stephanie Sievers said in Friday's release.

With everything else the credit union has arranged to take on would also come Mission's Vice President and Ridgecrest manager Solomon Rajaratnam, who said in the release he's grateful for his time at Mission and "excited to be part of AltaOne going forward. We will continue to support the business community in the best possible way."

The president and CEO of Mission Bank, A.J. Antongiovanni, said in the release it was a difficult decision to exit Ridgecrest but that the bank believes it's "best for all the stakeholders."

"Although we will no longer have a location in Ridgecrest, Mission Bank will always be a supporter and we wish everyone continued success."

In June 2020 Mission restarted its expansion into San Luis Obispo after an earlier push into the city was slowed by a staffing change.

Besides Bakersfield and San Luis Obispo, Mission has offices in Lancaster, Mojave, Shafter, Stockton and Ventura.