Great Western Savings, marking its first retail branch expansion outside California, Friday acquired the deposits of a failed savings and loan in northern Florida for $20.9 million.
Great Western said it agreed to assume an estimated $66 million in insured deposits from Intercapital Savings Bank, a one-office S&L in Jacksonville Beach. The Florida financial institution was seized by savings and loan regulators Friday afternoon.
The acquisition gives Beverly Hills-based Great Western, one of the nation's largest savings and loans, a beachhead in the lucrative Florida retail banking market that it will use to open "dozens" of branches throughout the state, a Great Western spokesman said.
Great Western already operates 10 real estate loan offices in Florida that will be merged into the savings and loan operation, the spokesman added.
Savings and loans are allowed to open retail branches in other states only when they agree to take over failed institutions in those states. Several of California's largest savings and loan companies already have extensive branch operations in Florida.
The Federal Savings & Loan Insurance Corp. was installed as receiver for the nearly $75 million in assets of Intercapital Savings, which was declared insolvent because of "unsafe and unsound" business practices, regulators said. The FSLIC insures customer accounts up to $100,000 should an S&L fail.