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Exchange Bank to boost SRJC's Doyle Scholarship

Exchange Bank said Wednesday it will increase its stock dividend by 20 percent, providing an estimated $172,000 a year in new revenue for Santa Rosa Junior College's Doyle Scholarships.

The quarterly dividend payable Sept. 20 will rise by five cents to 30 cents a share.

The dividend annually will provide slightly more than $1 million to the Doyle Trust, which funds the junior college scholarships. Fifty-one percent of the bank's cash dividend goes to the trust.

Exchange Bank, Sonoma County's largest community bank, halted its dividend in 2008 after suffering big losses on construction loans, and the scholarships were suspended. The dividend was reinstated a year ago and scholarships have resumed for this fall's entering freshman class.

Fred Ptucha, a Santa Rosa financial adviser who specializes in community bank stocks, called the action by the bank's directors significant.

"It's kind of a statement of confidence that they're in their recovery mode," said Ptucha, who works for Financial West Group.


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