First California Financial Group is the holding company of First California Bank, which operates about 20 branches in Southern California. The bank provides standard fare for mostly local businesses, but also wealthy individuals, along the 101 Corridor. Offerings include checking and savings accounts, loans, and investment services. Business loans, primarily comprising mortgages, construction loans, and commercial loans, represent the largest segment of its loan portfolio. The Pohlad family (which also owns Marquette Financial Companies and the Minnesota Twins) is a major investor in First California.
First California Financial has been taking of advantage of casualties of its state's rough economy. In 2011 the company acquired one-branch San Luis Trust Bank in an FDIC-assisted transaction; it acquired the customer deposits and six branches of Southern California bank 1st Centennial Bancorp in a similar arragement in 2009. Both institutions failed and had been seized by regulators.
In 2012 the company agreed to buy the two-branch Premier Service Bank, which operates in Riverside and Corona, for some $2 million.
Also in 2012 First California turned down an unsolicited bid from PacWest. The banks board wasn't satisfied with the vague all-stock offer. But the refusal wasn't because First California isn't interested in a possible merger.
Putting its growth and existing operations under evaluation, the company announced plans to close or consolidate four branches in 2012. The consolidations do not include the possible overlap effects that will occur as a result of the forthcoming Premier Service Bank merger.
First California Financial was created in the 2007 two-step merger of FCB Bancorp, holding company of First California Bank, and National Mercantile Bancorp, holding company of Mercantile National Bank.