L.A.'s Top Banks 1991 Security Pacific Bank Assets:

$94.5 billion

Net Income:

$195.2 million

In April 1991, reported yearly earnings drop of 49 percent Aborted proposed merger with Wells Fargo During shareholder meeting Chief Executive Robert Smith that said other strategies such as dismantling firm's merchant banking operation were more important Announced merger with BankAmerica Corp. in August 1991 Merger completed April 1992 Combined assets about $200 billion BankAmerica closed hundreds of offices and eliminated about 10,000 positions in California after the merger.

First Interstate Bancorp Assets:

$55.1 billion

Net Income:

$95.1 million

Following BankAmerica and Security Pacific deal, all eyes were on First Interstate to be acquired Chief Executive Edward M. Carson wouldn't budge Said shareholders had more to gain without the help of a large parent Streamlining was largely successful Costs were slashed, non-performing loans reduced, earnings increased Buyout rumors floated for years Wells Fargo named as suitor on several occasions In April 1996, Wells acquired First Interstate $13.3 billion acquisition was largest in U.S. history at the time.

City National Corp. Assets:

$4.9 billion

Net Income:

$13.8 million

Reported large loss in third quarter 1991 Stock reduced by more than 50 percent from year earlier Battered by rumors that regulators were on the verge of closing institution denied by chief executive Disclosed that bank was forced to raise $65 million to build a larger cushion against potential losses Bank directors pledged $10 million as a show of confidence Bank hired New York investment bank, First Boston, to come up with the other $55 million Sold off data processing division and reported 1993 second-quarter gain.

Imperial Bancorp Assets:

$3 billion

Net Income:

$6.3 million

Founded in 1963 on the corner of Western Avenue and Imperial Highway, hence the name In December 1991 bank combined mortgage banking division and thrift subsidiary into Imperial Credit Industries Investment banking firms engaged to pursue potential IPO Bank tried to remain independent and bought Comerica Bank-California's Insolvency Deposit Division in 1997 Comerica Inc., in turn, announced plans to acquire Imperial in $1.2 billion stock transaction, November 2000 Acquisition completed March 2001.

L.A.'s Top Banks 2001 Sanwa Bank California Assets:

$9 billion

Net Income:

$36.1 million

Soon to be named United California Bank upon completion of a merger with Tokai Bank California Total assets will be $11.4 billion Merger was the result of an overseas merger between Japanese parents Sanwa Bank Ltd., Tokai Bank Ltd. and Toyo Trust and Banking Co Newly-formed parent holding company, UFJ Holdings Inc., will have about $780 billion in assets One of the world's largest banking groups.

Top Sanwa Executive Ryosuke Tamakoshi will be chief executive of United California on July 2.

City National Corp. Assets:

$8.9 billion

Net Income:

$33.6 million

Parent company, City National Corp., recently completed acquisition of Los Angeles-based investment management firm, Reed, Conner & Birdwell Assets under management increased by approximately $1.2 billion Jumped into the venture capital pool three years ago when it lured a Silicon Valley Bank exec into its camp Made about 20 loans to technology startups in 1999 Increased loans to startups in 2000 City National came out strong in first quarter Produced growth while reducing non-performing loans and assets.

East West Bancorp Inc. Assets:

$2.6 billion

Net Income:

$9.8 million

Largest Los Angeles-based bank focused on the Chinese-American population Solicits business from Asian companies seeking to expand into the United States Reported record earnings at the end of first quarter Recently announced plans to offer more than 100,000 discount vouchers on United Airlines to customers Company claims offer will benefit large client base of immigrants and traveling business people. Top executive Dominic Ng came to the U.S. from Hong Kong in 1977. Took bank public in 1999.

Cathay Bancorp Assets:

$2.3 billion

Net Income:

$9.4 million

Was originally founded to help Chinatown residents and businesses get loans and mortgages Slow and steady in approach to growth Moved to the East Coast in 1999 when it acquired Golden City Commercial Bank Opened a loan production office in Houston the same year Houston office was converted into a full-service branch in late 2000 Became a member of the Nasdaq Financial-100 index just a few months before Has been ranked as the most efficient bank in California by Sheshunoff Information Services.

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