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Ailing California Still Has Strong Banks

United Commercial is operating under a regulatory cease-and-desist order. A filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission said earlier financial reports were inaccurate because fourth-quarter loan losses hadn't been fully recognized.

California Banks With Weakest Loan Quality

Eleven California institutions were included in the list of Undercapitalized Banks and Thrifts as of June 30.

There were 14 California banks and thrifts with nonperforming asset ratios that were higher than 10%:

California Banks and S&Ls with Nonperforming Assets Exceeding 10% (Millions of Dollars)

OneWest Bank FSB was formed in March when an investor group purchased the former IndyMac Bank from the FDIC. While OneWest Bank had a relatively high nonperforming-assets ratio of 10.2%, it was strongly capitalized with a risk-based capital ratio of 28.33%, reflecting the FDIC's agreement to share in losses on residential mortgages acquired from the former IndyMac.

Free Bank and S&L Ratings Ratings issues independent and conservative financial-strength ratings on the nation's 8,300 banks, and savings and loans. These are available at no charge on the Bank & Thrift Ratings Screener.

--Reported by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

The writer owns shares in Riverside Banking Co., the holding company for Riverside National Bank of Florida, a former employer.
Philip W. van Doorn joined Ratings., Inc., in February 2007. He is the senior analyst responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. He also comments on industry and regulatory trends. Mr. van Doorn has fifteen years experience, having served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Florida, and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Long Island University.
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