Money & Company

Tracking the market and economic trends
that shape your finances.

« Previous Post | Money & Company Home | Next Post »

First Vietnamese American Bank of O.C.'s Little Saigon fails

November 5, 2010 |  6:54 pm

First Vietnamese American Bank has been shut down by state regulators, five years after opening in Orange County's Little Saigon neighborhood as the only U.S. community lender with a core clientele of Vietnamese immigrants.

Under an agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Grandpoint Bank of Los Angeles will take over First Vietnamese's $48 million in assets and $47 million in deposits. The failure is expected to cost the national deposit insurance fund $9.6 million, the FDIC said in announcing the takeover late Friday.

First Vietnamese's sole branch in Westminster will reopen Monday as a branch of Grandpoint. Depositors are insured for at least $250,000 and will be able to continue banking without interruption, the FDIC said.

First Vietnamese, which regulators said was critically undercapitalized, had been troubled through most of its history and had been operating since Sept. 28 under orders to sell itself or be shut down.

It was the fourth bank closed by regulators Friday, following Pierce Commercial Bank of Tacoma, Wash., Western Commercial Bank of Woodland Hills, and K Bank of Randallstown, Md.

Regulators have closed 143 U.S. banks this year, topping 140 last year. It is the highest number of closures since the savings and loan debacle was winding down in 1992, a recession year in which 181 banks failed.

--E. Scott Reckard