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Scott Valley Bank opens loan office in Medford

Siskiyou County's oldest bank -- the second oldest in California -- has expanded into Southern Oregon.

Scott Valley Bank, founded in 1858 and based in Yreka, opened a commercial loan center here in Medford around the end of November.

Steve Herrick, formerly of People's Bank of Commerce and Valley of the Rogue Bank, is the lone commercial lender.

Herrick has an office in the Estate Building at 10 Crater Lake Ave., and can be reached at 770-3177.

Herrick and Timothy Avery, the bank's president, both said Medford was a natural expansion for the bank, which has about $185 million in assets.

We do think that there's a big opportunity here, Herrick said of the Medford market.

Avery said the bank has considered expanding north several times during its history. The firm decided to make the move now as part of a recent growth spurt.

We've added three branch locations to the bank over the last four years, he said.

Scott Valley Bank has nine full branches, six of which are in Siskiyou County.

It also has branches in Redding and Shingletown, both of which are in Shasta County.

The ninth branch is in the Bay Area city of Walnut Creek, where the holding company that owns the bank, Learner Financial Corp., is based.

It is believed to be the state's second oldest bank, behind the larger and better-known Wells Fargo chain.

Avery said the bank will be looking to expand its presence in Medford, including opening a full branch.

Our plans are to start off small but look for opportunities to grow in that marketplace, he said.

Avery said he's heard some concern that the Medford area has more than enough banks, but doesn't think that's truly the case.

I don't think that Southern Oregon is overbanked, he said, noting there's plenty of room for those willing to provide good service.

We have no reservations about the viability of Medford as a marketplace.