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First Cal Rings NASDAQ Bell

First California Bank President C.G. Kum rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ on March 2 in honor of the financial institution’s 30 year anniversary. It’s not the same bank it was 30 years ago, though: First Cal started life as Camarillo Community Bank in 1979. The current name was assumed in 2001. Holding company FCB Bancorp was formed in 2004. In 2006, a merger with National Mercantile Bancorp led to another name change, with the holding company becoming First California Financial Group, Inc. In 2008, First California assets reached $1.25 billion and the headquarters were relocated to Westlake Village. In February, the company assumed the insured deposits of 1st Centennial Bank which had been seized by the FDIC. Reporting its 2008 year-end financial results, First California Bank showed net income of $6.4 million, a decrease of nearly 10 percent over the year ending 2007. Officers attributed the decline largely to the lowering of interest rates, as well as unusual events in 2007 that hiked that year’s income including the sale of two bank charters. Other numbers were better: Loans in 2008 increased 6 percent to $787.9 million from the previous year. Deposits grew 7 percent, to $817.6 million and assets also increased 7 percent, to $1.18 billion from $1.11 billion from the previous year. The bank’s risk-based capital ratio of 12 percent makes it well-capitalized, according to regulators and its asset quality improved in the year with charge-offs of less than $1 million. Linda Coburn

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