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Press Release

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Community West Bancshares Earns $2.3 Million in Fourth Quarter, Nonaccrual Loans Decrease 33% Compared to Prior Quarter End, Results Highlight Continued Success of Turnaround Plan

Goleta, California, January 29, 2013 – Community West Bancshares (Community West or the Company), (NASDAQ: CWBC), parent company of Community West Bank (Bank), today reported it earned $2.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2012 (4Q12) compared to net income of $613,000 in third quarter of 2012 (3Q12) and a net loss of $8.6 million in the fourth quarter a year ago (4Q11). For the full year, Community West reported net income of $3.2 million compared to a net loss of $10.5 million a year ago.

“Our team’s success in executing our Strategic Plan on schedule allowed us to end a highly successful year with three quarters of profitability behind us and restore the Bank to stable footing,” stated Martin E. Plourd, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Our 2013 focus is on addressing growth in a responsible manner that supports lending in the communities we serve and to continue to work diligently to improve asset quality and reduce problem assets.”

The Company’s $895,000 net reduction in the provision for loan losses in 4Q12 was primarily the result of two factors: net quarterly loan loss recoveries of $304,000 and a $17.1 million decrease in total loans held for investment as problem assets continue to be resolved. The ratio of the allowance for loan losses to total loans held for investment remained basically unchanged – 3.66% at December 31, 2012 compared to 3.65% as of September 30, 2012.

4Q12 Financial Highlights
  • Nonaccrual loans declined 32.7% to $22.4 million at December 31, 2012, compared to $33.3 million at September 30, 2012.
  • Net income of $2.3 million in 4Q12.
  • Earnings of $0.26 per diluted share in 4Q12.
  • Net interest margin continued to be strong and was 4.91% in 4Q12, compared to 4.65% in 3Q12 and 4.84% in 4Q11.
  • Net real estate owned (REO) and repossessed assets, after subtracting the SBA guarantee, decreased to $1.9 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $3.8 million three months earlier and $5.6 million a year earlier.
  • The total allowance for loan losses equaled 3.66% of total loans held for investment at December 31, 2012, compared to 3.65% at September 30, 2012 and 3.24% a year ago.
  • Community West Bank’s capital ratios continue to strengthen - Total risk-based capital ratio was 15.27% and Tier 1 leverage ratio was 10.69% at December 31, 2012, an increase compared to Total risk-based capital ratio of 13.89% and Tier 1 leverage ratio of 9.84% at September 30, 2012. The Bank’s regulatory agreement requires that ratios of 12% and 9%, respectively, be maintained.

Including $263,000 of dividends and accretion on preferred stock, the net income applicable to common stockholders in 4Q12 was $2.1 million, or $0.26 per diluted share, in 4Q12 compared to net income applicable to common stockholders of $360,000, or $0.06 per diluted share, in 3Q12 and a net loss applicable to common stockholders of $8.8 million, or $1.47 per diluted share, in 4Q11. In 2012, including $1.0 million in preferred stock dividends, the net income applicable to common stockholders was $2.1 million, or $0.31 per diluted share, compared to a net loss applicable to common stockholders of $11.5 million, or $1.93 per diluted share, in 2011. Book value per common share was $6.29 at December 31, 2012, compared to $5.93 at September 30, 2012 and $5.94 at December 31, 2011.

Credit Quality

“We made exceptional progress in continuing to reduce problem assets during the fourth quarter and our credit costs continued to decline and were significantly below those of a year ago. As a result of this progress during 4Q12 and 2012 as a whole, all of our key credit quality metrics have improved and Community West’s reserve levels remain substantial,” said Plourd.

In the fourth quarter of 2012, $895,000 was taken as a credit to the loan loss provision. This compares to a $1.3 million provision in the preceding quarter and a $5.9 million provision in 4Q11. The loan loss provision for the year was $4.3 million compared to $14.6 million in 2011.

The allowance for loan losses totaled $14.5 million at December 31, 2012, equal to 3.66% of total loans held for investment, compared to 3.65% at September 30, 2012 and 3.24% a year ago.

Nonaccrual loans totaled $22.4 million, or 4.84% of total loans at December 31, 2012 compared to $33.3 million, or 7.0% of total loans, at September 30, 2012, and $28.7 million, or 5.23% of total loans, a year ago.

Of the $22.4 million in nonaccrual loans, $11.1 million (49.6%) were commercial real estate loans, $7.5 million, (33.6%) were manufactured housing loans, $1.4 million (6.3%) were SBA loans, $1.9 million (8.6%) were commercial loans, $269,000 (1.2%) were home equity line of credit loans and $123,000 (0.55%) were other installment loans.

REO and repossessed assets was $1.9 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $3.8 million three months earlier and $5.6 million a year earlier.

Nonaccrual loans plus net REO and repossessed assets totaled $24.3 million, or 4.57% of total assets, at December 31, 2012 compared to $37.1 million, or 6.7% of total assets, three months earlier and $34.3 million, or 5.4% of total assets, a year ago. Net recoveries totaled $304,000 in 4Q12, compared to net charge-offs of $1.7 million in 3Q12 and net chargeoffs of $4.9 million in 4Q11.

Statement of Operations

Fourth quarter net interest income was $6.2 million compared to $6.1 million in 3Q12 and $7.3 million in 4Q11. In the year 2012, net interest income was $25.4 million compared to $28.3 million in 2011. The fourth quarter net interest margin improved 26 basis points to 4.91%, compared to 4.65% in 3Q12 and improved seven basis points compared to 4.84% in 4Q11. The net interest margin for the year was 4.70% compared to 4.58% in 2011 as fewer loans continue to be placed on nonaccrual in 2012. “Our net interest margin has held up as deposit costs have come down faster than loan yields,” said Plourd. “However, it is possible that the margin will come under some pressure in the next few quarters as loan yields decline.”

Non-interest income was $761,000 in 4Q12 compared to $1.1 million in 3Q12 and $790,000 in 4Q11. In 2012, noninterest income increased 34.2% to $4.2 million compared to $3.1 million in of 2011. The non-interest income total for the full year included $1.7 million in gains on sales of loans.

Fourth quarter operating or non-interest expenses totaled $5.5 million compared to $5.3 million in 3Q12 and $5.3 million in 4Q11. In the full year, non-interest expenses decreased 4.7% to $22.1 million compared to $23.2 million in 2011. The decrease in non-interest expenses for the full year is in part due to the improved credit metrics, which resulted in the decline in costs associated with real estate owned. Losses on sales of REO and foreclosed assets declined 58.9% to $1.0 million in 2012, compared to $2.5 million in 2011.

Balance Sheet

“We continue to let higher interest-bearing certificates of deposit run off as we focus our efforts on growing lower-cost core deposits,” said Charles G. Baltuskonis, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. “This is part of our ongoing effort to strengthen the Company and its core banking strategy, on which we have been working throughout the year.”

Net loans were $449.2 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $459.9 million at September 30, 2012 and $532.7 million a year ago. Commercial real estate loans outstanding were down 25.0% from year ago levels to $126.7 million at December 31, 2012 and comprise 27.3% of the total loan portfolio. Manufactured housing loans were down 6.3% from year ago levels to $177.4 million and represent 38.3% of total loans. SBA loans decreased 23.1% from a year ago to $86.0 million and represent 18.5% of the total loan portfolio and commercial loans were down 11.4% from year ago levels to $37.3 million and represent 8.0% of the total loan portfolio.

Non-interest-bearing deposit accounts increased 7.4% to $53.6 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $49.9 million at December 31, 2011. Interest-bearing accounts decreased to $269.5 million at the end of December, compared to $289.8 million a year ago. Total deposits were $434.2 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $511.3 million a year ago. Core deposits, defined as non-interest-bearing checking, interest-bearing checking, money market accounts, savings accounts and retail certificates of deposit totaled $368.9 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $396.6 million at December 31, 2011.

Total assets were $532.1 million at December 31, 2012 compared to $556.8 million at September 30, 2012, and $633.3 million a year ago. Stockholders’ equity improved to $53.0 million at December 31, 2012, compared to $50.8 million at September 30, 2012 and $50.6 million at December 31, 2011.

The Company is not allowed to pay any dividends on its common or preferred stock without prior Federal Reserve Board (FRB) approval. The FRB has denied approving payment of the dividends on the preferred shares and no approval for payment of common dividends has been requested. On May 15, 2012, August 15, 2012 and November 15, 2012 the $195,000 dividend payments were due on the preferred shares. Such amounts continue to be accrued as incurred and deducted from capital.

On December 11, 2012, the U.S. Treasury sold its shares of the Company’s perpetual preferred stock in a non-public offering as part of a modified Dutch auction. Such shares were all purchased by third parties unaffiliated with the Company. The Treasury continues to hold a warrant to purchase up to 521,158 shares of the Company’s common stock at $4.49 per share.

Company Profile

Community West Bancshares is a financial services company with headquarters in Goleta, California. The Company is the holding company for Community West Bank, which has five full-service California branch banking offices, in Goleta, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria, Ventura and Westlake Village. The principal business activities of the Company are Relationship banking, Mortgage lending and SBA lending.

Safe Harbor

This release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management`s current views of future events and operations. These forward-looking statements are based on information currently available to the Company as of the date of this release. It is important to note that these forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the ability of the Company to implement its strategy and expand its lending operations.

Contact Information

Charles G. Baltuskonis, EVP & CFO
(805) 692-5821

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