Sterling Financial Corp., which acquired Sonoma Bank in 2007, is unifying its California banking operations under the new name Argent Bank.

The Spokane, Wash., company will rebrand its California banks under the name Argent, which means "silver" in French.

"Argent Bank unifies our California banking operations under one brand, providing a cohesive identity for the bank to continue to grow and deepen its roots in California," Sterling CEO Greg Seibly said in a statement.

Sonoma Bank and Borrego Springs Bank will transition to the Argent Bank name on Sept. 23. Commerce National Bank, which is being purchased by Sterling, will be renamed Argent Bank when the acquisition is completed in the fourth quarter.

Sterling will retain its current name at its banks in Idaho, Oregon and Washington.