California Bankers Association, Western Independent Bankers Finalize Merger

Press release

As of January 1, 2018, the California Bankers Association (CBA) and Western Independent Bankers (WIB) have merged and are now the Western Bankers Association (WBA). 

With more than 200 years of combined experience serving banks in the West, WBA now serves nearly 200 members with focused advocacy and premier educational training. This is an exciting time! The merger now provides a great opportunity to leverage the combined strengths of CBA and WIB to support members across 13 western states and U.S. territories.

Here’s how we have transitioned as of January 2018:

  1. WIB has merged into CBA, and the CBA has simultaneously changed its name to the Western Bankers Association (WBA);    
  2. Both names—the “California Bankers Association” and the “Western Independent Bankers” as well as their respective areas of professional focus have been retained by WBA.  Furthermore, CBA and WIB now operate as divisions of WBA as follows: 
    • The CBA division is focused on state and federal, legislative and regulatory advocacy activities. State advocacy efforts continue to be focused on California, and are led by Kevin Gould, and federal advocacy efforts are led by Maurine Padden.
    • The WIB division, (under direction of former WIB President and CEO, Michael Delucchi), continues to offer dynamic conferences, training, seminars, more than 250 webinars, and enhanced education for member banks.
  3. The former CBA Board of Directors is now the WBA Board of Directors. CBA’s Board Chair, Kathie Sowa, (Commercial Banking Market Executive and Market President of the greater Sacramento region for Bank of America Merrill Lynch), has assumed the role of Board Chair for WBA. In addition, the WBA Board of Directors has been expanded to include six former WIB board members. The WIB’s most recent chairman, David Joves, (SVP of the California region for Bank of Guam), is one of the six new WBA board members, and he has also joined the WBA executive committee.

Within WBA, the CBA division continues to be a strong advocate for our California member banks at the state and federal levels, among our elected officials and our state and federal bank regulators. Our state advocacy efforts remain focused on California. Many of the conferences and educational offerings CBA historically offered have now been incorporated into the line-up of programs that are now offered and marketed by the WIB division. Additionally, our combined conference schedule will offer our endorsed partners and affiliates more opportunities to engage with our members. 

We remain committed to continuing the legacy of service and support that both the CBA and WIB have provided over the years to our members. We look forward to serving and supporting our banking community in this New Year and beyond.

Please click here to view the full press release and click here to read an FAQ document containing more information.