By E. Scott Reckard
Encouraged by some of California’s leading financial executives, 16 community banks have invested $6.3 million into Pan American Bank in East Los Angeles to ward off regulators and keep open California’s oldest Latino bank.
Organizers of the funding said Wednesday that they assured regulators and the new investors that the private sector bailout would be accompanied by a shake-up of the board of directors and management at the tiny bank.
With its rich history and community involvement, Pan American has an importance far greater than its $41 million in assets and single branch might indicate.
“You go back through all of its history, and it doesn’t take long to get to a point where you say, if there’s a way to save this bank, it ought to happen,” said John Eggemeyer, chairman of Pacific Western Bank parent firm, PacWest Bancorp.