Under founding Board members Michael Towbes and Jerry Parent, in May 1974 the Bank of Montecito is approved with starting assets of $1.25 million. On March 17, 1975, they open in a trailer in Montecito. Months later the bank's first "Drive-Thru" opens and by December 4,500 accounts are open. Four years later the Downtown Santa Barbara Branch opens at 1000 State Street, after acquiring the Great Western Savings building.
Between 1980 - 1986, the bank expands to 5 locations, including Goleta, La Cumbre & Carpinteria. In March 1982 they receive the first of 30+ designations as a Premier Performing bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service that rates the performance of California banks. Michael Towbes assumes the CEO role three months later and in October 1983 becomes the sole owner of the Bank of Montecito.
March 1993 is the inaugural Anniversary Grants℠, which becomes an annual tradition to honor associate selected nonprofits. On August 19, 1994 the Montecito Branch is destroyed by fire; completion of the new branch finishes 2 years later. The Bank of Montecito officially becomes Montecito Bank & Trust in February 1996 when the bank opens its Trust & Investment division. May 1996 debuts the bank's first website
In October 2001, the bank acquires Valley Oaks National Bank in Solvang. To enhance the philanthropic efforts of the bank, it is converted from a C-Corp to an S-Corp in January 2003, and in November that year the 1st annual Community Dividends® takes place. The 7th location opens in Westlake Village on January 10, 2005. In September 2006 the bank names Janet Garufis President & CEO and is elected to Board of Directors.
A Ventura location opens in 2009, followed by a second Goleta branch in 2012. Reaching a new milestone in Q3 of 2011, the bank eclipses $1 billion in assets. In 2013 Montecito Bank & Trust is voted Best Bank in the Santa Barbara Independent’s Best Of Readers Poll, kicking off a string of Best Bank awards across multiple publications, including the Independent, Santa Barbara News Press and Santa Ynez Valley News.
In October 2015 the bank adopts the .bank domain. Mortgage launches in 2016, followed by Apple Pay. By December the bank has received 10 Best Bank Awards and eclipses $1.3 billion in assets. March 2017, the bank is named Best Bank by the WIB. In April a brand refresh & new digital banking are launched, Janet Garufis is named Chairman & CEO and George Leis becomes President. Michael Towbes passes on April 13, 2017.