John J. Keating figured he and his Lincoln National Bank in Encino would keep a low profile for a while. But his customers and shareholders keep asking the same questions, so he has decided to talk:
No, his bank is not related to the troubled Lincoln Savings & Loan in Irvine and he is not related to Charles H. Keating Jr., the chairman of Lincoln S&L's parent company.
"We're getting all sorts of calls from clients and stockholders," said John Keating, the bank's chairman. "We're getting some bad publicity because of the similarities in names. And I believe in the iceberg theory--10% may call, but 90% are worried about it."
Lincoln National Bank is a 7-year-old bank that earned $1.4 million in the first quarter and maintains a 6.6% ratio of capital to its $393.7 million in assets. The ratio, which is a key measure of a bank's financial health, is above regulatory requirements.
Lincoln Savings was seized by federal regulators on April 14, a day after its Phoenix-based parent company, American Continental Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection. Regulators who are running the S&L said it is out of capital.
John Keating said he first encountered the similarities in names some years ago when he and his wife were visiting Scottsdale, Ariz., and ate at a local restaurant.
"We were getting such outstanding service, we were saying that this place ought to open up in Los Angeles and New York and other cities," he said.
But when the waiters discovered he was not related to local tycoon Charles Keating, he said, service returned to normal.