[UPDATE 5:50 P.M.] Tri County Bank Branch to Close in Garberville


Tri County Bank recently took over the Garberville Branch of NVB. [Screen capture taken from Google Maps in 2012.]

Tri Counties Bank, which recently acquired North Valley Bank (NVB), plans to close its Garberville branch on Friday, July 31 of this year. Spokesperson Michael Murphy explained, “We’ll communicate out to customers in a letter on Monday.” Murphy said that the bank will move existing customers’ accounts to another branch about an hour north of Garberville. “We will house their accounts at the  Eureka downtown branch,” he said.  Murphy says that he hopes Southern Humboldt customers will continue to do business with his bank, “It is our hope to continue to serve them…We have online banking still available.”

Garberville business owner, Janice Branscomb says that online banking doesn’t work for her as she has to make deposits and it is too far to drive to Eureka. “I’ll have to change banks,” she said. Branscomb has already been dealing with switching account numbers since Tri Counties Bank took over for NVB last fall. “It’s very complex all of the connections that go between my checking account and the vendors,” she said. “I’ll be playing phone tag or email tag–it can go on for weeks. Luckily, I had’t bought new checks yet,” she added.

Although the Garberville branch of Tri Counties Bank had a reputation for being busy, Murphy said that after analysis, the bank decided to close it. “We look at demand, is the current competition serving [the area] well, the cost of maintaining a facility, and projections of future performance,” he explained.

According to the FDIC, as of June 30 this last year, North Valley Bank which was taken over by Tri Counties, had a similar market share to its competitor Umqua Bank. And it had been gaining on its competitor. In 2010, for instance, NVB only had 36.68% of the market but in 2014 it had 48.12%. And, the amount of deposits had risen during that time period.


Murphy said that current employees of Tri Counties Garberville branch would be assisted in finding other positions in other branches. “We make every effort to encourage employees to find other jobs within our company,” he said.

If the employees weren’t able to find positions, he said, then they would be given severance packages. Those who had been working previously for NVB, he said, would be given severance that included the years of past service to the other bank. “They’re very generous,” he said of the packages.

As to the bank’s large building which is prominently situated on the main street in Garberville, Murphy said he didn’t know about the details of the lease but “discussions with the owners of the property are still underway.”

Business owner Janice Branscomb lamented the loss of a tradition. “I’ve been with the bank in that spot since the 60’s. I’m not happy but what are you going to do?”

UPDATE 5:50 p.m.: Shon Wellborn, president and CEO of the Community Credit Union of Southern Humboldt, explained that CCUSH won’t be taking on any additional business accounts for awhile. “We don’t have the staff to support any more business accounts, ” she said. “Anyone who wants to open a business account, we’re putting them on a waiting list.”

Because word of Tri-Counties impending closure broke today, Wellborn said she’s already had business owners approaching her about transferring to CCUSH. “Before I left the office, I had three accounts approach me.” But, she said, she had to tell the individuals that they would have to go onto a waiting list. “One of the people was my husband…he’s a little cranky with me now,” she said.


Question worth pondering: Does our “peculiar institution”–the cannabis industry—have anything to do with this closure? In light of the closure, this story by Terri Klemetson at KMUD last year is worth listening to again.



  • Wow, what a way to learn your bank is going to close…FB! Way to go Tri County bank, can’t wait for that letter in my mailbox!

  • Thanks for posting this Kym>

    I’m a little offput to say the least. Janis has had to spend considerable time changing numbers on accounts to accommodate Tri Counties Banks insistence in changing account numbers that we have maintained through the years, not to mention the extra work that the bank has had to do to change everything. According to the visible numbers the business was on the increase. If they were going to close, why didn’t they do it at the “first hello” instead of putting everybody through all the changes then slamming the doors with no stated reason. I know, it’s none of my business. I have a feeling that my business will from now on will be none of theirs. It’s going to take more than a free toaster to lure me back.

    My wife and I have been Radio Shack Dealers for years now. In contrast to what happened with the Tri-Counties Bank, Radio Shack has been completely honest and candid with us about their financial and management problems. With their fairness in dealing with us we have been able to adjust to their increasing difficulties by developing other suppliers. We have been able to maintain, and even add to our inventory and keep our store supplied and our customers happy. Radio Shack eventually filed bankruptcy to reorganize. It’s beginning to look like they will become a viable business again, and thanks to their honesty, we were able to, not only remain in business, but able to actually increase sales.

    I compare all that to the days when we owned a Sears catalogue store. We found out on television that they had closed us. We had almost no chance to save ourselves. So I know the difference between a good company and a bad one.

  • Been doing business in the same spot since the 60’s . Driving to eureka to do bank business is going to suck. I guess I’m going to have to switch banks. Let’s hope anew bank will take over that spot.

  • Weirdly timed decision. Tri-Counties bank should have made this analysis before they acquired the branch, perhaps selling it to another financial institution. Certainly, our local industry has something to do with Tri-Counties management making its decision to close the Garberville branch. Cash transaction reporting as required by the Bank Secrecy Act are onerous and the penalties for even the slightest error in reporting are severe – not only for the financial institution, but the employee(s) involved in the failures to report or making errors in reporting. Designated as a “drug trafficking” region, local financial institutions are required to report even small amounts of cash going in and out.

    On another matter – Community Credit Union not “accepting” any more business accounts, placing them on a waiting list?? This is absolutely insane. CCCU wants to act like a bank and a professional financial institution, but this policy makes it look like a country bumpkin rube organization. CCCU Board of Directors ought to revisit this poorly thought out decision. Got more business than you can handle? Hire more staff. Expand your facility.

    Looks like Umpqua is going to be the only game in town for business accounts needing a home. Good thing that its staff is friendly and professional. I believe that they will be hiring additional staff. If need be, they’ll expand their facility.

    This story ought to be filed under “Stupid Credit Union Decision” as well as “Local Bank Branch Closure”. Jeesh.

    • I liked that you mentioned the “drug trafficking” designation of the area. Many residence don’t realize that they are being heavily scrutinized by the feds and should be cautious about money transactions.

  • One more comment – those market share numbers above include only “bank” deposits (insured by the FDIC), not credit union deposits “shares” (insured by the NCUA). If I was a betting person, I’d put up a dollar that says that CCCU has more deposits in Garberville than the two bank branches combined. If not more, it’d be pretty close.

  • Carolyn Hensley

    this is really pi$$ing me off.. I maintain this account because we have accounts set up for Tyler back in Pittsburgh… So i guess this means ALL account numbers will change again??

  • Could it be that the marijuana industry’s influence on this situation goes further than creating a paperwork nightmare for the banks? I would think there is more money in it for the banks if they are loaning lots of money, rather than just storing money. Pot growers may not like taking out loans when they cannot even use a bank to store money without drawing attention. A loan might seem to be a way to launder money until someone gets nosey about how the loan is being paid off. In a HTDA stuff like that gets noticed. It is a tight situation where a lot of growers even resort to taking huge losses at a casino just to legitimize their holdings.

    • The reporting limits for cash transactions are so low that any benefit of “lots” of money is negated by the paperwork involved and the associated penalties for failing to file or filing incorrect filings. It is not only financial institutions that are required to report cash transactions – it’s casinos, jewelers, car dealers – in fact, it’s just about anybody who receives large (> $10,000) amounts (or amounts that are smaller as established by regulators in designated regions). Remember the Redway business that, a few years ago, was prosecuted for failing to report cash sales of generators and other equipment? Of course, I recall that this business also created false invoices for money that never purchased anything, in an attempt to launder the funds. Long story short – if cash transactions are received that are suspicious or unusual, even if they are within the limits established by authorities, they are reportable. Best to have a legitimate reason to be depositing or withdrawing cash in any amount. Just sayin’.

      • Thats why there are safety deposit boxes now at the credit union. Smart move for the institution. If ur wanting to keep cash somewhat safe its a good option. As a member of the credit union I would very much like to see more staff hired to take more business accounts. Perhaps the folks losing their jobs at Tri-County could be hired by the credit union.

  • People don’t seem to know what a monster the Community Credit Union has become. While the two banks in town are at $27 & $29 million in assets, on their last filings with the state last year, the CCU assets sit at over $70 million, and probably in excess of $80 million by now. Also, the CEO Shon Wellborn was paid over $125,000 in salary plus benefits according to the filings.


      I have an 819 score and was considering getting a new car loan. Dealer was all on board, but I thought I’d get a better rate going to the credit union, like they claim.

      Long story short, the ccu took weeks to return calls, wanted even more info, didn’t seem to like I owned my home and property outright, and suggested that instead of a loan I use my savings account to buy the truck. Their offer was I use some savings for the truck, and repay THEM 3% each month to rebuild the account. I’m an 819 credit score!

      I asked her again, ‘ you want me to use savings and repay you 3% for no risk?’ She was like, ‘ well we can do the paperwork faster, if you go that route.’

      I’m slowly starting to debank and cut loose the federal reserve system. Being able to write checks is nice, but if they AREN’T writing local loans without whatever deal they have with the car lot on the side, why should I keep my money there and allow them to print money off my deposit?

      When you deposit money into a federal reserve system bank, each dollar you deposit allows the bank to loan out $10, it’s called fractional lending. That’s a pretty easy gig to run, but if they aren’t going to help me or others, why support them?

      I like how the Hmongs form their own banks and over the years have purchased several properties with PRIVATE funding. More people should consider finding private funds and cut the bank out of the loop. They aren’t there to help you, but themselves.

      We need someone to invest in silver fractional coins to use for exchanges. People could buy in, use them, and cut out all the banks from daily monetary exchanges that they really shouldn’t have anything to do with. If you could go buy coffee with a silver 1/10 oz coin that would be a great leap in ridding our lives of the dirty bankers. No matter how local and sweet they try to front, they exist to feed off your financial lifeblood.

      • I have had an excellent loan history with the CCU and found their service quick and thorough… I often recommend them to friends looking for cars etc… It’s a real small town feeling there…
        Seeking private loans here seems a bad idea to me… Sometimes leads to mayhem…

  • Thanks for the heads-up Kym – give s me time to cool down before I go to the bank Monday. The Staff at the local branch is REALLY great, what a bummer for them – I’m sure they are all ready to commute ~140 miles a day for a teller’s or assistant branch manager’s salary. That’s roughly somewhere north of $100/week for gas alone…At least one staff member got out in time, she lacked faith in TriC, I guess (cough).

    I have one direct deposit and five auto-payment plans finally straightened out with the switch from NV to TriCounty, and now they pull this? And two safe-deposit boxes. Bastards, as if they couldn’t have hinted that they are ‘investigating alternatives’ or a bunch of other mealy-mouthed stuff to give us a heads up about a year ago. I also really find it strange that the CCU has a hold on new business accounts – this would be a perfect time to gear up a little bit and add staff – maybe they are on a ‘no growth’ policy?

    And for the dope growers, it is called a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report) when you withdraw cash over $xxxx from ‘your’ account – the amount varies by area, as noted above, and sometimes by individual bank policy. I don’t grow, but it does irritate me that the government thinks it has any business in my day to day business, the IRS takes a close enough look once per year anyhow. Lazy Skunk touched on some issues with the entire Fed Reserve system, and the NWO’s move toward a ‘cashless’ society, all the better to control us, dears. (They know when you’ve been sleeping, they know when you’re awake; they know whether you’ve been good or bad, so be good for goodness sake.)

  • I have been with Six Rivers, and then North Valley for years, and have had business accounts and mortgages there. I always received good service and had no problems, but this switch and then closure is dicouraging at best. As far as the CCU I closed my accounts there when they did their big re-model….they are not now, nor were they ever a bank in spite of their delusions of granduer. Doing a business account with them would be impossible, better to stick with Umpqua…I still have a personal account there and they seem to be on top of it.

    • I’ve had an account with Umpqua for years, before I moved to Eureka I had an account with them in Oregon and they’re a great bank, they bent over backwards to help me out when I first moved here when no other bank in town even wanted to talk to me.

  • michael grosser

    Gawd Bless America!!!! This is four times I have been sold out to different banks from the same building…..
    this last change has resulted in me receiving an extra 1% charge for ATM withdrawls that did not apply with NOVB……I live full time in Mexico now. Slavery is indeed NOT dead…they can buy and sell me like a
    plantation worker and confiscate my meager pension money. There is something vile and contemptable
    about this…..let’s all just keep re electing the same Turkeys over and over again. Adios Obamalandia!
    Adios Jerry B. Adios Diane….. Adios Nancy and above all Adio M F to all you poor pitiful brain dead voters!

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