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PRESS RELEASE 02-03
January 15, 2002
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966
www.dfi.ca.gov

Department of Financial Institutions Announces 8 New State Chartered Banks Opened During 2001

Each bank has its unique characteristics from serving a small community or ethnic community to offering special services for small businesses and professionals

SACRAMENTO - The Davis Administration announced today that during 2001, eight new state-chartered banks opened for business in California. The Department of Financial Institutions ("DFI") currently supervises 731 financial institutions, including 203 banks and 216 credit unions, with assets totaling over $198 billion.

"Safety and soundness continues to be our mission as we welcome the eight new state-chartered institutions," said Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency. "We are also pleased to report that there were no state bank closures in 2001," added Secretary Contreras-Sweet.

"Each bank has its unique characteristics from serving a small community or ethnic community to offering special services for small businesses and professionals," said Donald R. Meyer, Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

The eight de novo state banks that opened during 2001 are: (we have provided Internet addresses for those that have Web sites)

  • Sunrise Bank of San Diego, which opened in January, will deliver a full array of personalized financial services to businesses, professional practices, entrepreneurs, and consumers.
  • Community Bank of Santa Maria serving the rural Santa Maria Valley opened in March. They offer a Seedling Savings account for minors, consumer and business accounts and have a mortgage officer located at the branch to assist members.
  • Premier Valley Bank, which opened in June, is only the third community bank serving Fresno and Clovis, serving small- to medium-sized businesses, including business lines of credit and loans, business real estate loans, and Small Business Administration (SBA) loans.
  • Mission Valley Bank located in Sun Valley opened on July 16. Mission Valley Bank will specialize in serving growing businesses and professional firms with banking and lending services.
  • The Discovery Valley Bank in San Marcos, serving the North County Inland area opened in September. Discovery offers free checking accounts, senior checking accounts along with small business and consumer loans, CDs and other financial services.
  • Premier Service Bank, located in Riverside, opened in September offering services to meet the unique needs of small businesses and consumers.
  • Professional Business Bank located in Pasadena opened its doors in November. Professional Business Bank will offer a full line of deposit, loan and related products and services to small and medium size businesses, professionals and high end consumers.
  • Uniti Bank, located in Buena Park, opened in December. The Uniti community bank will provide bilingual services to the Korean community and businesses. There are approximately 2,300 Korean-American businesses in Orange County and Uniti is the first independent community bank headquartered in Orange Co. with a special emphasis on serving the Korean-American community.

The Department of Financial Institutions is responsible for administering State laws regulating state-licensed banks, state-licensed savings and loans, trust companies, state-licensed offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers checks and payment instruments (money orders), transmitters of money abroad, state-licensed credit unions, and state-licensed industrial banks. The Department reports to Maria Contreras-Sweet, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Gray Davis.