The number of Savings and Loans Associations headquartered in Los Angeles County shrunk to a dozen this year. But the survivors appear to be thriving, posting a 21.7 percent gain in assets, to $25.7 billion, and a 15.8 percent gain in deposits, to $13.9 billion.

No. 4 Hawthorne Savings boosted its asset base by more than a third, with $2.6 billion in assets as of June 30. In August 2002, its parent company, Hawthorne Financial Corp., acquired Tustin-based First Fidelity Investment & Loan.

Kaiser Federal Bank increased its assets by 50 percent, to $433.6 million as of June 30. Kaiser has grown by increasing its loan volume and luring depositors with above market savings rates.

No. 10 Universal Bank was the only thrift to post an asset decline, shedding 15.3 percent to $343.3 million.

Fidelity Federal Bank, No. 4 last year, was merged into California National Bank, both units of FBOC Corp. Family Savings Bank, No. 13 last year, was acquired by Boston-based One United Bank in December.

Nicole Taylor


IndyMac Bancorp Inc.

With more than twice the assets of its closest competitor, IndyMac Bancorp is the largest savings and loan association in Los Angeles County for the fourth consecutive year.

For the 12 months ended June 30, IndyMac's asset base increased by 43.8 percent, to $10.6 billion. IndyMac also reported increases in deposits and net income. Deposits rose by a third, to $4 billion, and net income was up 13.2 percent, to $82.2 million.

IndyMac, which traces its origins to real estate investment trust Countrywide Mortgage Investments Inc., got into the savings and loan game in 2000 when it acquired First Federal Savings and Loan Association of San Gabriel Valley.

Concentrating on providing single-family residential mortgages, Pasadena-based IndyMac operates in three segments: IndyMac Mortgage Bank, IndyMac Consumer Bank and the Investment Portfolio Group. The company emphasizes its technology-based system, with its products and services available via the Internet.

Like other lenders, IndyMac has benefited from record low interest rates, with mortgage loan origination in the quarter ended June 30 71 percent higher than the year-earlier period. Counterbalancing the gains in mortgages, IndyMac has recorded lower returns on its investment activities.

Nicole Taylor

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