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PRESS RELEASE 05-19
August 17, 2005
Contact: Alana Golden, Public Information Officer
(916) 323-7012 or (916) 322-5966
www.dfi.ca.gov

Department of Financial Institutions Announces New State Bank - First Choice Bank will open its doors on August 18, 2005

San Francisco-The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced today that the Department has approved the opening of a new state bank. First Choice Bank will open its doors on August 18, 2005 with an initial capital of $12.4 million.

"I am pleased to welcome First Choice Bank and report that state-chartered banks continue to grow and prosper in California," said Howard Gould, Commissioner of Financial Institutions. During the last four years, 52 new state-chartered banks opened with DFI approval. In addition, over 120 branches also opened their doors. "Each new bank has its unique characteristics, which range from serving a small community or ethnic community to offering special services for small businesses and professionals," added Commissioner Gould.

Alexander Lu will serve as President/Chief Operating Officer; Harvey Ferguson as CEO; Sandy Hwang as Chief Credit Officer; Keith Kishiyama as Chief Financial Officer; and Yolanda Su as Chief Operations Administrator.

First Choice Bank is located at 17414 Carmenita Road, Cerritos, CA 90703. The bank's telephone number is (562) 345-9092 and the Fax is (562) 926-8640. Their web site address is www.firstchoicebankca.com.

Like all California state-chartered banks, First Choice Bank deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), up to $100,000 per depositor.

DFI supervises over 650 financial institutions. The Department is responsible for administering state laws regulating state-licensed financial institutions: banks, credit unions, industrial banks, savings associations, trust companies, offices of foreign banks, issuers of travelers' checks and payment instruments (money orders), and transmitters of money abroad. The Department, under the direction of Howard Gould, Commissioner, reports to Sunne Wright McPeak, Secretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.