Irvine-based Beach Cities Commercial Bank launches with branch in Encinitas


Business news. (James Abbott via Freeimages)

North Coast Current

A new Southern California bank opened this month, with a branch in Encinitas.

Irvine-based Beach Cities Commercial Bank announced its launch on June 12. Its Encinitas office is located at 171 Saxony Road, Suite 105.

The financial institution opened its doors after receiving approval from the FDIC and California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation to commence business as a state-chartered commercial bank, according to a Beach Cities news release.

Beach Cities is a de novo bank. It’s the second such bank to open in the United States this year, according to an American Banker article on the institution’s opening.

“Traditional de novo banks refer to newly formed institutions that have to build their deposit and loan customers from scratch,” according to the FDIC.

In the American Banker article, Beach Cities President and Director Jeffrey S. Redeker said the industry might see a spike in new bank formations spurred by years of consolidation that have left gaps in services.

Recently, for example, century-old Los Angeles-based Union Bank, which had branches throughout San Diego County including Encinitas, merged with US Bank.

“Over the past two decades, two very specific things have transpired,” Redeker said in Beach Cities’ news release. “First, we have seen a reduction of over two thousand small banks nationwide. Second, we have seen a massive transition towards a more technologically-forward banking environment. The pandemic only accelerated this shift.”

Redeker said that the bank’s de novo status places it well to adapt to this shift.

“We are a small de novo technology-forward bank designed specifically for small and middle-market businesses and entrepreneurs,” he said in the news release. “We are very excited to open our offices and begin doing business. With the uncertainty in the marketplace and our industry, opening our bank with no legacy portfolio or infrastructure issues will provide clients peace of mind knowing we are not affected by the headwinds some regional banks have experienced in recent months.”

The bank’s founding members are familiar with each other and the qualities they bring to the institution, the announcement stated.

“The Bank has been formed with nearly everyone having worked together in the past,” CEO and Director H. Kent Falk said in the news release. “We all know each other’s banking experience and are very comfortable supporting each other.”

The bank is aiming its services toward small and mid-sized businesses.

“Our specific focus on commercial banking and only commercial banking provides a safe and sound foundation for future growth and success,” Redeker said in the news release.

The bank describes its products and services as “vanilla,” referring to traditional commercial business from Small Business Administration and commercial real estate loans to a variety of commercial and industrial lines of credit.

The bank’s founders are deeply rooted in Orange County financial, medical and legal circles, according to an Orange County Business Journal story.

Dr. James Heinrich founded Pacific Coast Cosmetic and Laser Medical Center in Mission Viejo in 1999 and was a founder and board member of San Juan Capistrano-based Capital Bank, which was later acquired by Seacoast Commerce Bank, the publication reported. Anesthesiologist Dr. Mark Burkhardt has worked at medical institutions such as Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

Beach Cities Director Angela Bienert has been in banking for more than 30 years and recently served as interim chief credit officer at Santa Ana-based Infinity Bank. She is married to past Orange County Bar Association President Thomas Bienert Jr.

The bank’s Irvine headquarters are located in Innovation Park at 100 Progress, Suite 150.