Bank of the Pacific President and CEO Dennis Long cut the ribbon on his institution’s new Astoria branch, the second in Clatsop County.

“We’ve always wanted to come to this side of the river,” said Long about Bank of the Pacific, which started in Long Beach, Wash., in 1971. “It just so fits our sweet spot.”

Both the Astoria and Seaside branches of Sterling Savings Bank converted to Bank of the Pacific June 1. Pacific’s Gearhart Branch closed May 31 and consolidated in the new Seaside office.

Bank of the Pacific has 16 branches in Washington and the two in Oregon. A new branch in Warrenton is under construction and expected to finished in October.

“I don’t think it’s unlike what we’ve seen on the other side of the (Columbia) River,” said Long of what the Oregon branches will focus on, adding that his staff is very good at hospitality, restaurant and other business financing.

Kamyar Monsef, the Astoria branch manager who moved south from Bellingham, Wash., said that Bank of the Pacific brought in four former Sterling employees. He said the Astoria branch currently has about $16 million in assets. Its total assets in Clatsop County, said Long, are about $45 million.

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