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Sunwest Finds Opportunity in Encinitas

San Diego Business Journal
By - Mike Allen

Orange County-based Sunwest Bank, which acquired Pacific Coast National Bank Nov. 13, said it plans to retain its two new branches, including one in Encinitas.

"That is one of the most attractive aspects of this opportunity," said CEO Glenn Gray. "We've been looking to expand in both southern Orange County and northern San Diego County."

Pacific Coast National, based in San Clemente and with $134 million in assets, was seized by federal regulators after they determined the bank was "critically undercapitalized."

As of Sept. 30, PCNB had a tangible capital ratio of 1.44 percent, and a total risk-based capital ratio of 3 percent. The minimum standards for those measurements are 4 percent and 8 percent, respectively.

Pacific Coast National is the third lender that received federal bailout funds to fail. In January it received $4.1 million in funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

It was also the 123rd bank in the nation seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. this year, and the 15th in California.

Gray said Sunwest will complete the conversion of PCNB by the middle of the first quarter of 2010. With the acquisition, Sunwest has about $700 million in assets, and 10 offices.

There's more to come, Gray says. "There could be up to a 10 percent reduction of all banks before this is all over."

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