City National Bank, the state's ninth-largest bank, has reopened its county escrow service department in its Newport Beach regional office after a 10-year hiatus.
Unlike many larger banks that are curtailing escrow activities, City National is aggressively seeking more escrow business, said Karen Golberg, a bank spokeswoman. Last year, the escrow business generated $3 million in fees, about 1% of the bank's gross income.
The escrow unit in Newport Beach, dissolved a decade ago as business dropped off, will handle commercial and industrial transactions, Golberg said.
"The feeling now is that the potential for business there is great," she said. "Also, the bank wanted to have a full-service operation in Orange County."
City National's only other county branch is also in Newport Beach. It is on the waterfront in Lido Village, with docking facilities for boaters.