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Bold plan for First California – Acquisition gives bank foothold in Inland Empire

By   /   Sunday, March 22nd, 2009  /   Comments Off on Bold plan for First California – Acquisition gives bank foothold in Inland Empire

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When First California Bank snatched failed 1st Centennial Bank off the auction block, it added six more branches to its extensive list of locations and expanded the bank’s already prominent Southern California presence.

In late January, Westlake Village-based First California made a strategic move, spending $100 million to acquire the insured deposits of 1st Centennial Bank’s six branch operations.

With the addition of those branches, the First California franchise now includes 18 banking centers in six counties. And C.G. Kum, president and chief executive officer of First California Bank, said he is still looking for more ways to expand.

“We are one of the strongest capitalized banks in the Southern California region,” Kum told the Business Times, adding that his bank is actively evaluating growth opportunities, “whether through acquisition of existing banks or further participating in the FDIC’s auction process of failed institutions. So we are actively evaluating other bank institutions for possible purchase or merger options.”

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