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PRESS RELEASE 06-23
September 15, 2006
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 - Friendly Hills Bank will open for business on Sept. 18 in Whittier, CA

San Francisco-The California Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced today that the Department has approved the opening of a new state bank. Friendly Hills Bank will open for business on September 18, 2006 in Whittier, Los Angeles County with an initial capital of $16.2 million.

"I am pleased to welcome Friendly Hills Bank - the 14th new bank to open in 2006 - and to report that state-chartered banks continue to grow and prosper in California," said Michael A. Kelley, Acting Commissioner of Financial Institutions.

"California's financial institutions are symbols of safety and soundness. Their role in business and industry are important to the economy and to our own personal well-being. Maintaining the integrity of financial services remains our primary mission as the industry continues to grow. During 2005, assets for our financial institution licensees grew from $249 billion to $290 billion," added Kelley.

During the last five years, 74 new state-chartered banks have 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.

Friendly Hills Bank will be located at 16011 East Whittier Blvd., Whittier, CA 90603. Their phone number is (562) 947-1920. The bank's Web site address is www.friendlyhillsbank.com.

Jeffrey K. Ball will serve as President/CEO; L.E. (Bill) Thackery as Executive Chief Credit Officer; and George W. Peterson as Chief Financial Officer.

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

DFI supervises over 700 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. DFI reports to Business, Transportation & Housing Agency Secretary Sunne Wright McPeak and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.