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Western Commercial Bank in Woodland Hills fails

November 5, 2010 |  5:27 pm

Western Commercial Bank, a struggling small-business lender in Woodland Hills, was closed late Friday by the state Department of Financial Institutions and was merged into First California Bank in Westlake Village.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said in a statement that First California would take over Western Commercial's $98 million in loans and other assets as well as its $101 million in deposits, with the FDIC sharing losses on about $84 million of loans. The failure was expected to cost the nation's deposit insurance fund $25.2 million, the FDIC said.

State and federal regulators had warned the one-branch Western Commercial in September 2009 that it was operating with poor-quality loans and inadequate capital. They delivered a final warning in August to find an investor or buyer to rescue the bank.

Customers of Western Commercial automatically become customers of First California with their FDIC insurance intact. The federal agency insures at least $250,000 per depositor.

Western Commercial was the second bank to be shut down Friday, following the failure of K Bank of Randallstown, Md. Western Commercial was the 141st FDIC-insured institution to fail in the nation this year, topping last year's total of 140, and the 11th California bank to fail this year.

-- E. Scott Reckard