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Banking/finance

January 22, 1992|James S. Granelli / Times staff writer

Turnaround for Bank: For the first nine months last year, only one community bank in Orange County managed to grow in assets, reduce its bad loans and make more money than it did in the same period a year earlier.

Bank of Yorba Linda, benefiting from the ties its new president had with the old Citizens Bank of Costa Mesa, opened a second branch in Huntington Beach and began calling on former Citizens' customers.

Citizens was sold, with sister institution El Camino Bank in Anaheim, to Wells Fargo Bank Jan. 1, 1990. By then, Robert Ucciferri, Citizens' president, had jumped to Bank of Yorba Linda and begun hiring old Citizens employees discarded by Wells.

The effort bumped Bank of Yorba Linda's assets 39% to $48.9 million at the end of September and gave it net income of $194,000 over nine months. The bank also reduced its bad loans to 0.03% of total loans. A year earlier, the ratio was 1.24%.

"We're doing what Citizens did," Ucciferri said, "looking to serve the small business professional and the small commercial and small industrial company, as well as offer retail services."

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