Say goodbye to Lockheed Federal Credit Union and hello to … something else.

The 75-year-old credit union, the largest in Los Angeles County based on assets, recently sent letters to its 107,000 members announcing plans to change its name. However, the institution said it will not unveil the name until sometime in May.

The change was spurred by a series of surveys and focus groups showing that many people believe the credit union is open only to employees of Lockheed Martin. While it was founded in 1937 for employees of the Lockheed aviation company, it has since broadened its field of membership to include nearly everyone.

“We learned that over 80 percent of the public believe they cannot join Lockheed Federal Credit Union, and that this perception is unlikely to change with educational efforts or advertising,” the credit union said in the letter.

A spokeswoman for Lockheed declined to comment.

With $3.2 billion in assets, Lockheed is larger than local competitors such as Kinecta Federal Credit Union and Wescom Credit Union. But Lockheed has fewer than half as many members as the other two institutions, which each count more than 225,000 individuals in its ranks.

Purchase Gains

Acquirers of failed banks – including a number of local institutions – have recorded hefty gains as a result of the discounted prices, according to a new study.

SNL Financial, an industry research firm based in Charlottesville, Virg., found that 97 banks have booked some $1.6 billion in gains since 2010, after a regulatory change required banks to publicly disclose “bargain purchase gains.” The one-time gains must be added the bank’s capital levels.

First California Financial Group Inc., Westlake Village parent of First California Bank, recorded one of the largest gains of any bank in the country with its acquisition of San Luis Trust Bank last year. As a result of the deal, First California booked a gain of $37 million, which boosted its Tier 1 capital by more than 20 percent.

City National Corp., the downtown L.A. holding company for City National Bank, gained $25 million through its 2010 purchase of Sun West Bank; Koreatown’s Center Bank, which recently merged with Nara Bank to form BBCN Bank, booked a $6 million gain from its 2010 acquisition of Innovative Bank.

Enforcement Orders

Despite signs of recovery in the banking industry, some institutions are still being hit with regulatory orders.

NCAL Bancorp, L.A. parent of National Bank of California, received a cease-and-desist order from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, while Evergreen International Bank in Long Beach was issued a consent order by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

NCAL’s order was a follow-on to an enforcement order issued in October. The latest notice directed the bank to suspend dividend payments and “take appropriate steps” to comply with the previous order.

Henry Homsher, NCAL’s chief executive, did not comment on the order, but noted that “we broke even in the first quarter” after several years of losses.

Though not considered as severe an action as a cease-and-desist, the consent order entered into by Evergreen still stipulates a range of actions the bank must take, including strengthening the board, overhauling management, maintaining sufficient capital and reducing a concentration of commercial real estate loans.

When Evergreen was operating under its former name, Golden Coast Bank, it had received a cease-and-desist order that was recently terminated.

Top Thrift

Malaga Financial Corp. is king of the thrifts – again.

The Palos Verdes Estates holding company for Malaga Bank was ranked as the top performing thrift in the country for the third consecutive year in a new report. The rankings from SNL take into account a variety of performance criteria, including return on assets, growth rate and charge-offs.

Malaga, which has $833 million in assets, recently reported net income of over $3 million in the first quarter – the highest quarterly earnings in its 27-year history – with no delinquent loans or real estate owned.

The institution has five offices and primarily serves residents of the South Bay.

C-Suite News

Gene Sykes, the global head of mergers and acquisitions for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., has been appointed to the management committee, which oversees the investment bank’s strategy and operations. Sykes is based in Los Angeles. … Raul Anaya has been named L.A. market president for Bank of America Corp., according to a report on HispanicBusiness.com.

Staff reporter Richard Clough can be reached at rclough@labusinessjournal.com or at (323) 549-5225, ext. 251.

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