Monthly Bulletin – July 2001

State of California

Gray Davis, Governor

Business Transportation and Housing Agency
Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary

Department of Financial Institutions

California Seal

Monthly Bulletin

Volume 5, Number 1

July, 2001

Commissioner Approves the Application of Citigroup, Inc. to Acquire California Commerce Bank

The application of Citigroup, Inc., for approval to acquire control of California Commerce Bank was approved on July 12, 2001 with the following conditions:

For the three (3) year period following consummation of the acquisition of control of the Bank, this Approval is subject to the following conditions:

  1. Applicant shall periodically audit any sub-prime lending activities of the Bank for compliance with the Expanded Guidance for Sub-prime Lending Programs as jointly issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the Office of Thrift Supervision dated January 1, 2001, as revised from time-to-time (the "Guidelines").
  2. If, at any time, Applicant finds the Bank’s sub-prime lending practices to not be in full conformance with the Guidelines, Applicant shall immediately notify the Commissioner of such fact. Additionally, Applicant shall immediately take all actions necessary to cause the Bank’s practices to be brought into full compliance with the Guidelines.
  3. If, at any time, Applicant proposes to cause a material change in the retail business plan of the Bank (as that plan is described in the Application), Applicant shall cause the Bank to solicit comments from the communities served by the Bank to determine how the new business plan will enhance the serving of the credit needs of those communities.

Department Receives NASCUS Re-accreditation

On July 17, 2001 Department of Financial Institutions Commissioner Donald R. Meyer announced that the Department had received its certificate of accreditation from the National Association of State Credit Union Supervisors (NASCUS). The Credit Union Division of the California Department of Financial Institutions met the standards for accreditation and received an extension of its accredited status for one year.

The Board of Directors and the Performance Standards Committee of NASCUS concluded that DFI continues to meet criteria necessary to fulfill its statutory responsibility to charter, examine, supervise and regulate the credit unions chartered under the laws of the State of California.

The Department was first accredited in 1999, and currently supervises 216 credit unions with total assets of approximately $35.8 billion as of yearend 2000.

The Mission of NASCUS is to enhance state credit union supervision and to be an advocate for a safe and sound state credit union system. The NASCUS Accreditation department is designed to strengthen state credit union regulatory departments; obtain the support necessary to operate a competently run, safe and sound regulatory program; and foster continuity in the supervision of state chartered credit unions. There are currently 25 state credit union regulatory agencies that have obtained the honor of being accredited states.

Advisory Notice

We have received notice that fraudulent business proposals originating from Nigeria are once again being perpetrated on Californians via e-mail. In addition, we are aware of similar fraudulent proposals that appear to be originating from South Africa. In past years, we have issued various notices regarding similar fraudulent schemes being perpetrated by e-mail, postal mail or fax. The proposals attempt to dupe contacted persons to pay up-front fees in order to participate in schemes to share in enormous financial gain. We reiterate our earlier advisories that extreme caution should be used in dealing with any person or persons offering these fraudulent "business opportunities".

2000 Quality Assurance Survey Results

The Quality Assurance Survey ("QAS") is part of the Department of Financial Institutions’ ongoing effort to ensure that the needs of our licensees are being met. Survey responses and comments are used to evaluate and improve the examination process.

Bank positive responses (‘strongly agree’ and ‘agree’) compare favorably with previous surveys. All were above 90 percent with only two exceptions. As noted from responses, the timeliness of the receipt of the report of examination and advance communication of the objectives and strategy of the examination to management received will be our focus for improvement.

Credit union positive responses to the survey questions ranged from 82 percent to 97 percent. The weakest positive response was to the statement relating to time used to conduct the examination, which received 82 percent, and will be an area that DFI addresses.

Trust company responses varied, but with the majority showing a 100 percent positive response to all QAS statements.

Trust department responses demonstrated an 80 percent or better positive response. Areas with a lower positive response that the Department will address are: 1) clarity of the letter of instructions indicating the items to be submitted for the examination, 2) lead time provided to meet the examination requirements, the usefulness of the recommendations by the examiner during the examination, 3) effectiveness of the "Comments and Conclusions" page of the examination report, and 4) timeliness of the receipt of the examination report.

The DFI would like to thank our licensees for their thorough responses and for the suggestions for further improvements. The QAS is an integral part of the examination process by providing a measure of our efforts so that we are able to continuously improve the regulatory process.

We look forward to another successful year in serving both the interests of the public and the needs of our regulated community. Please contact Commissioner Donald R. Meyer with further questions regarding the examination process, suggestions for improvement, and the QAS survey, at (415) 263-8500 or Peter Van Hoecke at (916) 322-1571.

Monthly Activity Report

Commercial Bank Activity

New Banks

Horizon Bank
Proposed Location: in the vicinity of Ventura Boulevard and Balboa Avenue, Encino, Los Angeles County
Correspondent: S. Alan Rosen, Esq.
Horgan, Rosen, Beckham & Coren, L.L.P.
21700 Oxnard Street, Suite 1400
Woodland Hills, CA 91367
Phone: (818) 340-6100
Approved: 7/12/01

Mission Valley Bank
9116 Sunland Boulevard
Sun Valley, Los Angeles County 91352
Arcadia, Los Angeles County
Principal Officers: Tamara Gurney, President and Chief Executive Officer; Linda Rousseau, Senior Vice President and Cashier; Jim Hackbarth, Senior Vice President & Chief Credit Officer
Phone: (818) 394-2300
Capitalization: $6,047,280.00
Opened: 7/12/01

Montecito Interim Bank
Proposed: Location: 1010 State Street, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County
Correspondent: Madge S. Beletsky, Esq.
Fried, Bird & Crumpacker
1900 Avenue of the Stars, 25th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: (310) 551-7400
Filed: 6/28/01
(Application filed in connection with the merger of Valley Oaks National Bank, Solvang with and into Montecito Bank & Trust, Montecito)

Unity Bank
Proposed Location: 6280 Beach Boulevard, Buena Park, Orange County
Correspondent: Grace Wickersham
Carpenter & Company
5 Park Plaza, Suite 950
Irvine, CA 92614
Phone: (949) 261-8888
Approved: 7/12/01


Imperial Bank, Inglewood, with and into Comerica Bank-California, San Jose
Filed: 7/9/01

Tokai Bank of California, Los Angeles, with and into Sanwa Bank California, San Francisco and to change the name to "United California Bank"
Effected: 7/2/01

Valley Oaks National Bank, Solvang with and into Montecito Bank & Trust, Montecito
Filed: 6/28/01

Conversion to State Charter

Vineyard National Bank, Rancho Cucamonga, to convert to a state chartered bank under the name "Vineyard Bank"
Approved: 7/6/01

Acquisition of Branch Office

Bank of Granada Hills, Granada Hills to acquire the Burbank Office of First Coastal Bank, N.A., El Segundo, located at 333 North Glenoaks Boulevard, Burbank
Filed: 7/26/01

Application for Trust Powers

First Regional Bank
1801 Century Park East, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County
Filed: 7/9/01
Approved: 7/17/01

Foreign Bank Activity

Foreign (Other Nation) Bank – Discontinuance of Office

UniCredito Italiano
500 South Grand Avenue, Suite 1600
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(Representative Office)
Discontinued: 6/30/01

Foreign (Other Nation) Bank – Voluntary Surrender of License

Israel Discount Bank Limited
206 North Beverly Drive
Beverly Hills, CA 90210
(Depositary Agency)
Effected: 6/7/01

Philippine Commercial International Bank
600 So. Figueroa Street, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, CA 90071
(Depositary Agency)
Effected: 7/25/01

Industrial Loan Company Activity

New Premium Finance Companies

Allegiance Premium Finance Company, Inc.
936 Mangrove Plaza, Chico, Butte County
Approved: 7/16/01

G.A.S. Premium Finance, Inc.
251 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 201
Glendale, CA 91203
Approved: 7/16/01

Discontinuance of Premium Finance Company

RMT Premium Finance, Inc.
21731 Ventura Boulevard
Woodland Hills, CA 91364
License Revoked: 6/8/01

Credit Union Activity


Amphlett Federal Credit Union, San Mateo into America’s Choice Credit Union, Redwood City
Filed: 5/23/01

Del Monte S.F. Employees Federal Credit Union, San Francisco into Unipac Credit Union, San Francisco
Filed: 7/18/01

Santel Credit Union, San Diego into First Future Credit Union, San Diego
Effected: 6/28/01

Team California Federal Credit Union, San Bruno into America’s Choice Credit Union, Redwood City
Filed: 5/23/01
Approved: 7/13/01

Transmitter of Money Abroad Activity

New Transmitters

Envios Rapidos International Corporation
Correspondent: A. Scott MacLean
101-04 43rd Avenue
Corona, NY 11368
(718) 397-1515
Withdrawn: 5/24/01

JOM Corporation of Illinois
DBA Majapara
7300 East Slauson Avenue
City of Commerce, CA 90040
Contact person: Richard Holden
(773) 542-4555
Opened: 7/2/01

Sigue Corporation
1518 San Fernando Road
San Fernando, CA 91340
Contact person: Manuel J. Diaz, Esq.
(818) 837-5939
Filed: 7/18/01


Commissioner of Financial Institutions


Assistant General Counsel

Bulletin for month ended
July, 2001, issued pursuant
to Financial Code, Section 258

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