First California Bank merger closes

June 10, 2013

first cal bankPacWest Bancorp’s announced its May 31 purchase of First California Financial Group and its plans to close seven banks and consolidate two branches on June 14.

First California has nine branches that overlap with PacWest branches. Among those is one in San Luis Obispo. Seven branches of First California Bank will close and two branches of Pacific Western will consolidate.

In December, PacWest Bancorp signed an agreement to purchase First California Financial Group for $231 million, beating out a handful of competitors hoping to take over the profitable bank.

First California operated 15 branches from San Luis Obispo down to San Diego and boasted $1.9 billion in assets. PacWest has 66 branches from San Francisco to San Bernardino counties and $5.4 billion in assets.

On May 31, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. levied $1.7 million in penalties against First California Bank for misleading customers about prepaid card features and for charging fees that were not clearly disclosed. Under a settlement agreement, the bank agreed to pay $600,000 in civil money penalties and approximately $1.1 million in restitution to over 64,000 cardholders.

As the succeeding corporation, PacWest is liable for the penalties and restitution.