Executive Summary

City National Bank moved into the top position among the largest L.A. County banks following the merger of United California Bank, last year's No. 1, with San Francisco-based Bank of the West. UCB disappeared as an L.A. bank just one year after it was born in the joining of Sanwa Bank California and Tokai Bank of California.

The biggest move on the list came from California National Bank, which vaulted to No. 2 from No. 15 with the acquisition by its holding company of PBOC Holdings Inc., parent of People's Bank of California. California National is set to merge with Fidelity Federal Bank, another unit of FBOP Inc., next month, increasing its asset base from $3.3 billion to nearly $6 billion.

In addition to UCB, Pacific Century Bank was also merged into a non-L.A. bank and is off the list.

The assets of the 25 largest banks in L.A. County grew substantially in the last year, averaging an increase of 28 percent over the 12-month period ended June 30. The increase in the previous 12-month period was only 9 percent.

Nicki Taylor

The Pacesetter

City National Bank



City National Bank moves into the top spot on the list of largest L.A.-County based banks as a result of the merger of United California Bank with San Francisco-based Bank of the West.

The new No. 1 saw 20 percent growth in its asset base in the 12-month period ended June 30, hitting $10.9 billion. It had $9.1 billion in assets for the like-year earlier period.

Founded in 1954 as City National Bank of Beverly Hills, the financial institution originally catered to entrepreneurs and entertainers. It now concentrates on small- to mid-sized businesses and high net worth individuals. Its growth spurt came between 1995 and this year, during which it has more than tripled its asset size, largely through acquisitions.

City National has 54 offices in 12 California counties, with more than 2,200 employees.

Russell Goldsmith, the bank's chief executive, cited expansion of current client relationships, as well as the ability to attract new clients, as an important part of City National's growth.

"As businesses grow and evolve, that value proposition helps us retain clients and add new ones," said Goldsmith. He added that consolidation has put City National in a position to attract well-trained local employees from other banks.

City National plans to acquire the Newburgh, N.Y. branch of Fleet National Bank, its first out of state acquisition, and move the branch to Manhattan.

Nicki Taylor

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