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California Banks Stop Bleeding Profits

Stocks in this article: BAC BK FRC MTU BNP FMCB

Excluding the failed Palm Desert National Bank, the California institution with the weakest overall asset quality s of March 31 was Delta National Bank of Manteca, which had $99.4 million in total assets and a nonperforming assets ratio of 23.20%.

Largest California Banks

Here are the 10 largest banks headquartered in California along with key metrics as March 31:

While the main banking subsidiaries of Bank of America (JPM), Wells Fargo (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM) dominate deposit gathering in the state, with a market share of over 50% between them ,the largest bank actually chartered in California ( Wells Fargo Bank, NA is technically headquartered in Sioux Falls, S.D.) is Union Bank, NA, with total assets of $91.6 billion as of March 31.

Union Bank, NA is held by Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MTU).

The bank earned $165.6 million in the first quarter, with a return on average assets (ROA) of 0.70%, improving from 0.61% in the fourth quarter, but declining from 1.23% in the first quarter of 2011, with the bank's earnings were boosted by a $129.5 million transfer from loan loss reserves. During the most recent quarter, Union Bank, NA set aside $8.8 million for loan loss reserves.

Interested in more on Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.

The second-largest bank headquartered in California is Bank of the West, which is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas SA (BNP), and had $62.3 billion in total assets as of March 31. Bank of the West's first-quarter ROA was 0.82%, improving from 0.69% the previous quarter and 0.64% a year earlier. The bank's net interest margin -- the difference between its average yield on loans and investments and its average cost for deposits and wholesale borrowings -- declined to 3.02% during the first quarter, from 3.13% in the fourth quarter and 3.32% a year earlier, following the industry trend in the prolonged low-rate environment.

The third-largest California bank is First Republic Bank (FRC) of San Francisco, which was acquired by Bank of America as part of the purchase of Merrill Lynch in January 2009, and then sold in July 2010 to an investor group that included Colony Financial (CLNY) and General Atlantic LLC and was led by First Republic's original management team. First Republic completed a public offering in December of 2010.

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