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Irvine bank to buy Popular branches

Irvine bank to buy Popular branches

Banc of California, a growing community bank in Irvine, is doubling its footprint in Southern California as it joins a new wave of smaller California banks pushing to expand into regional players in the aftermath of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.

Banc of California said Wednesday that it agreed to buy 20 Popular Community Bank branches from struggling Popular Inc. in Puerto Rico, adding them to its 18 branches from Los Angeles to San Diego.

The new branches would be in lightly banked Latino neighborhoods in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Latino customers account for 37% of the $1.1 billion in deposits in those branches.

The $5.4-million deal would give...

EDITION: California | U.S. & World