Sunwest Bank’s new president plans to expand the bank’s Idaho footprint.
The Irvine, California, bank now has branches in Boise, Eagle, and Middleton, said Carson Lappetito, president and former chief operating officer. It obtained them in 2014 when Syringa Bank failed and Sunwest took them over, as it did several other failed Western banks. The Boise branch is about 2 miles west of downtown, on Orchard Street.
The bank is planning to identify a facility and branch in downtown Boise, Lappetito said, but it is not yet planning to expand beyond the Treasure Valley. “We have a very robust online banking and mobile platform,” he said. “We don’t necessarily need a branch to provide banking services to our clients.” Sunwest shut down Syringa’s downtown branch in March 2014.
Lappetito said he visits Idaho at least once every quarter to meet with the team and bank customers. “Idaho is our largest market outside California that we’re focused on,” he said. The company moved its operations department to Idaho in 2017 and had 66 new hires in Idaho in 2017.
Sunwest Bank focuses on entrepreneurs, Lappetito said.
“We were founded by entrepreneurs and we built a bank for entrepreneurs,” not just in the technology sector but also in manufacturing, services, accounting, investing, medicine, and real estate developing, he said. For example, this month the bank provided an Employee Stock Option Plan (ESOP) loan for an Idaho company. “These are loans that typically other banks don’t know how to do,” he said.
Senior vice president Justin Archuleta remains the Idaho market president, Lappetito said.