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Pacific Coast National Bank is seized, sold to Sunwest Bank

Los Angeles Times
By W.J. Hennigan

Tustin-based Sunwest has bought three failed banks this year. Pacific Coast's two branches, in San Clemente and Encinitas, are to reopen Monday as branches of Sunwest.

Bank regulators seized Pacific Coast National Bank of San Clemente on Friday and immediately sold it to Tustin's Sunwest Bank.

Pacific Coast's two branches, in San Clemente and Encinitas, will reopen Monday as branches of Sunwest, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said.

Sunwest agreed to assume all of Pacific Coast's deposits, so no depositors will lose money, the FDIC said.

Pacific Coast's customers can gain access to their money as usual over the weekend by writing checks or using their ATM or debit cards, the agency said. Depositors' money will continue to be insured by the FDIC.

Loan customers of Pacific Coast should continue to make their payments as usual.

Pacific Coast, which had assets of $134 million and deposits of $131 million, is the third failed bank that Sunwest has bought this year.

"We see this as an opportunistic chance to grow," said Glenn Gray, Sunwest's chief executive. "It allows us to extend our geographical reach."

Sunwest acquired First State Bank of Flagstaff, Ariz., in September and MetroPacific Bank of Irvine in June.

The FDIC estimated that Pacific Coast's failure would cost the deposit insurance fund $27.4 million. The insurance fund is financed by premiums paid by banks.

Two other U.S. banks failed Friday, both of them in Florida, bringing the number of failures this year to 123 nationwide.

The Florida institutions seized were Orion Bank of Naples and Century Bank of Sarasota. Their failures will cost the deposit insurance fund a total of $959 million, the FDIC estimated.

Copyright (c) 2009, The Los Angeles Times