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West Town Bank & Trust Launches Dedicated Cannabis Banking Program

The program aims to make financial services, such as banking and electronic payments, more accessible to cannabis businesses nationwide.

RALEIGH, NC – April 20, 2022 (via PR Newswire) – West Town Bank & Trust, a bank with a mission to make financial services more accessible to emerging and underserved industries, announces the launch of its dedicated cannabis banking program. The program provides the cannabis industry with secure, convenient, and modern financial tools, enabling businesses to operate more efficiently and reduce the risks associated with operating a cash-intensive business.

Due to federal regulations, cannabis businesses currently have difficulties accessing reliable financial products, forcing many businesses to operate without bank accounts or electronic payments. Others go to third-party intermediaries who partner with FDIC-insured banks behind closed doors. The lack of dependable financial services stunts the industry’s potential for growth, profitability, and increased consumer trust.

“As one of the first banks to roll out a hemp banking program after the 2018 Farm Bill, we witnessed first-hand the role dedicated banking programs played in advancing the entire industry,” says Ross Sloan, West Town Bank & Trust Senior Vice President of Hemp & Cannabis Banking, “We’re excited to do the same for cannabis businesses, offering them the banking services they fuel not only their growth, but the growth of the entire cannabis industry.”

The banking program at West Town Bank & Trust offers a full suite of financial service products to cannabis businesses and their ancillary partners. Cannabis businesses will have access to business checking accounts, electronic payment options, and more. With an in-house team entirely comprised of Certified Cannabis Bankers, regulatory compliance is a key cornerstone of the Bank’s cannabis banking program.

Mel Barnes, Hemp & Cannabis Program Director at West Town Bank & Trust, believes the Bank’s existing framework and successful track record in the hemp space will raise the standard for cannabis financial services, “Legal cannabis businesses should be able to access the same financial services as other industries. Using our in-house industry expertise, along with leveraging technology partners such as RiskScout, we’ve built a robust online onboarding and due diligence infrastructure that allows customers to access the services they need while feeling secure in their financial partner. This same infrastructure provided the opportunity to effectively scale our hemp program and we are excited to have the support from our Board of Directors and Executive Management Team to make a full commitment to serve the cannabis market.”

The cannabis banking program at West Town Bank & Trust is now accepting applications at www.westtownbank.com/cannabis-banking.  

ABOUT WEST TOWN BANK & TRUST | Established in 1922, West Town Bank & Trust provides tailored financial solutions to emerging and underserved industries. The Bank was one of the first to provide a full suite of commercial banking services to hemp-related businesses when it launched its dedicated hemp program in 2019. West Town Bank & Trust’s new cannabis banking program ushers in the next chapter of accessibility to financial services for stakeholders in the cannabis industry.

The cannabis banking team is comprised of seven financial service professionals, all of whom are certified to bank cannabis businesses. The Bank’s cannabis bankers currently serve on the Cannabis Financial Institutions Group of the National Cannabis Roundtable, an advocacy group dedicated to developing solutions for the cannabis industry’s most pressing challenges.

West Town Bank & Trust is chartered in North Riverside, Illinois, and retains its operations in Raleigh, North Carolina.

For more information on cannabis banking solutions at West Town Bank & Trust, please submit the contact form below.

West Town Bancorp, Inc. Announces Stock Repurchase Program

RALEIGH, N.C., May 17, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — West Town Bancorp, Inc. (OTC PINK: WTWB) (the “Company”), parent company of West Town Bank & Trust, announced today that its Board of Directors has authorized a new stock repurchase program under which the Company may repurchase up to 9.9% of its currently issued and outstanding common stock, or approximately 307,079 shares based on the 3,101,810 shares of Company common stock currently outstanding.

Purchases made pursuant to the program will be made in either the open market or in privately negotiated transactions from time to time as permitted by federal securities laws and other legal requirements. The timing, manner, price, and amount of any repurchase will be determined by the Company in its discretion and will be subject to economic and market conditions, the cost of repurchasing shares, the availability of alternative investment opportunities, liquidity, applicable legal requirements, and other factors. The Company has no obligation to repurchase any shares under this program, and the program may be terminated, suspended, or discontinued at any time.

In commenting on the repurchase program, Eric Bergevin, President and CEO of the Company, said, “The Board of Directors believes the repurchase program is an important option within the Company’s overall capital management strategy and reflects their commitment to maximize shareholder returns and proactively manage capital. The action reaffirms the confidence the Board of Directors has in the Company’s financial strength and gives the Company additional opportunity to provide liquidity to shareholders and increase shareholder value.”

About West Town Bancorp, Inc.

West Town Bancorp, Inc. is the financial holding company for West Town Bank & Trust, an Illinois state-chartered bank. West Town Bank & Trust provides banking services through its two full-service offices located in the greater Chicago area. Primary deposit products are checking, savings, and certificate of deposit accounts, and primary lending products are government guaranteed, residential mortgage, commercial, and installment loans. The Company is also the parent company of Windsor Advantage, LLC, a loan servicing company, and West Town Insurance Agency, Inc., an insurance agency. The Company is registered with, and supervised by, the Federal Reserve. West Town Bank & Trust’s primary regulators are the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the FDIC.

For more information, visit https://www.westtownbank.com/

Important Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, and business of the Company. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of the management of the Company and on the information available to management at the time this release was prepared. These statements can be identified by the use of words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” variations of these words, and other similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause a difference include, among others: changes in the national and local economies or market conditions; fluctuations in the Company’s stock price that may make purchases under the repurchase program less desirable; changes in interest rates, deposit flows, loan demand, and asset quality, including real estate and other collateral values that affect the Company’s financial condition; changes in banking regulations and accounting principles, policies, or guidelines; the inability to realize cost savings or revenues or to implement integration plans and other consequences associated with the Company’s acquisition and divesture activities; the failure of our strategic investments or acquisitions to perform as anticipated and the impact of any impairments to our intangible assets, such as goodwill; the impact of our strategic initiatives on our ability to retain key employees, and the impact of competition from traditional or new sources. These, and other factors that may emerge, could cause decisions and actual results to differ materially from current expectations. The Company assumes no obligation to revise, update, or clarify forward-looking statements to reflect events or conditions after the date of this release.

Contact: Eric Bergevin, (252) 482-4400

West Town Bancorp, Inc. Announces Recapitalization of Sound Bank

ALEIGH, N.C., May 07, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — West Town Bancorp, Inc. (OTC PINK: WTWB) (“West Town”) announced today that Sound Bank has successfully completed a recapitalization as part of the bank’s plan to grow its franchise into a high performing, statewide North Carolina community bank.  As part of the recapitalization, West Town sold a substantial portion of its interest in Sound Bank through a series of concurrent secondary sales of shares of Sound Bank common stock to certain third-party purchasers, which secondary sales resulted in gross proceeds to West Town of $28,010,000.  Simultaneous with West Town’s completion of these secondary sales, Sound Bank completed a private placement of newly issued shares of Sound Bank common stock, which primary sales by Sound Bank resulted in gross proceeds to the bank of approximately $62 million, before fees and expenses of the bank offering.  Following the concurrent closings of West Town’s secondary sales and Sound Bank’s primary offering, which are referred to collectively as the recapitalization, West Town retains an approximate 4.9% ownership interest in Sound Bank’s voting common stock and a 9.9% total equity interest in Sound Bank.

The $28,010,000 in cash proceeds received by West Town equates to 168% of Sound Bank’s tangible common equity as of March 31, 2019.  As a result of the transaction, Sound Bank will no longer be a consolidated entity, and West Town will recognize a pre-tax gain of approximately $6.5 million.  In addition, as of March 31, 2019, West Town carried $8.5 million of intangible assets related to Sound Bank, which will no longer be included in its financial statements.  Together, the gain and elimination of Sound Bank intangible assets will result in an approximate 26.5%, or $4.28, increase in the tangible book value per share of West Town.   West Town intends to deploy a portion of the new capital to West Town Bank & Trust, its Chicago-based subsidiary bank, for continued expansion of the bank’s government-guaranteed lending department and will retain the remaining proceeds for general corporate purposes. Two members of West Town’s board of directors will continue to serve on Sound Bank’s board of directors, which is being reconstituted in connection with the recapitalization.  West Town was also issued a warrant by Sound Bank in connection with the recapitalization, which warrant has a five-year exercise period and entitles West Town to purchase an additional 99,900 shares of Sound Bank non-voting common stock at a $10.00 per share exercise price.

Eric Bergevin, President and CEO of West Town, commented, “The recapitalization represents the successful monetization of our investment in Sound Bank with an over 20% return on investment in just over one and half years. We continue to remain committed to the Sound Bank franchise and will support its growth in North Carolina through our ongoing ownership and board representation.  Moving forward, our primary focus is on the growth of West Town Bank & Trust into a robust, full-service community bank franchise.” 

Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP served as legal counsel to West Town on the recapitalization, and Raymond James & Associates, Inc. issued a fairness opinion to West Town’s Board of Directors.

About West Town Bancorp, Inc.

West Town Bancorp, Inc. is the financial holding company for West Town Bank & Trust, a North Riverside, IL based state-chartered bank.  West Town Bank & Trust provides banking services through its two offices in Illinois. Primary deposit products are checking, savings, and certificate of deposit accounts, and primary lending products are government guaranteed lending, residential mortgage, commercial, and installment loans. West Town is also the parent company of Windsor Advantage, LLC, a loan servicing company, and West Town Insurance Agency, Inc., an insurance agency.  West Town is registered with, and supervised by, the Federal Reserve.  West Town Bank & Trust’s primary regulators are the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation and the FDIC. 

For more information, visit https://www.westtownbank.com/

Important Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This release contains certain forward-looking statements with respect to the financial condition, results of operations, business, and future plans of West Town., its subsidiaries, and Sound Bank. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties and are based on the beliefs and assumptions of West Town’s management and on the information available to management at the time this release was prepared. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “believe,” variations of these words, and other similar expressions. Readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a number of important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause a difference include, among others: increased or unexpected costs and expenses associated with the recapitalization; the inability of Sound Bank to achieve its growth goals or expand its business; the diversion of West Town management’s time towards transition issues associated with Sound Bank’s new initiatives; changes in the national and local economies or market conditions; changes in interest rates, deposit flows, loan demand, and asset quality, including real estate and other collateral values; changes in Small Business Administration rules, regulations, or loan products, including the section 7(a) program; changes in other government-guaranteed loan programs or West Town’s ability to participate in such programs; changes in tax law, including the impact of such changes on our tax assets and liabilities; changes in banking regulations and accounting principles, policies, or guidelines; the inability to realize cost savings or revenues or to implement integration plans and other consequences associated with West Town’s acquisition activities; the failure of West Town’s strategic investments or acquisitions to perform as anticipated and the impact of any impairments to its intangible assets, such as goodwill; the impact of West Town’s strategic initiatives on its ability to retain key employees, and the impact of competition from traditional or new sources. These, and other factors that may emerge, could cause decisions and actual results to differ materially from current expectations. West Town assumes no obligation to revise, update, or clarify forward-looking statements to reflect events or conditions after the date of this release.   

Contact: Eric Bergevin, (252) 482-4400      

West Town Bancorp, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Sound Banking Company and Private Placement Offering

West Town Bancorp, Inc. Completes Acquisition of Sound Banking Company and Private Placement Offering.

Company Release 9/5/2017 08:30 AM Contact: Eric Bergevin, 252-482-4400 RALEIGH, NC, September 5, 2017 — West Town Bancorp, Inc. (OTC PINK: WTWB) (“West Town”), announced today the successful completion of its acquisition of Sound Banking Company of Morehead City, NC (“Sound Bank”) thereby further expanding its presence into Eastern North Carolina. West Town will operate as a multibank holding company with Sound Bank and West Town Bank & Trust as separately chartered, wholly owned subsidiaries of West Town. With the Sound Bank acquisition, West Town has grown its consolidated assets to approximately $500 million as of the August 31, 2017 closing date.

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West Town Bancorp One of the Most Profitable Community Banks in the Country

West Town Bancorp, Inc. (WTWB) Ranked #2 in American Banker Magazine’s Survey of the Nation’s Top 200 Most Profitable Community Banks.

Company Release 5/4/2016 09:00 Contact: Eric Bergevin, 252-482-4400 RALEIGH, NC, May 4, 2016 — West Town Bancorp (WTWB), the parent company for West Town Bank & Trust, has been a growing and profitable financial services organization for many years and it is now being recognized for that success. West Town Bancorp is ranked #2 on the list of the top performing community banks and thrifts in the nation by American Banker Magazine.

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