Ventura Investment Group Seeks to Open Moorpark Bank

An investment group headed by Ventura County National Bancorp, and including a Moorpark city councilman, is seeking state approval to open a bank in Moorpark that initially would have $1.5 million in capital.

If approved, Oxnard-based VCNB will buy one-third of the shares of the proposed Moorpark Community Bank for $500,000. Eight other individual investors, including Albert Prieto, a Moorpark council member and former mayor, each would buy an undetermined smaller number of shares.

The remaining stock will be offered to the public, said VCNB President William McAleer. Ventura County National Bank, VCNB's main subsidiary, also will perform record-keeping jobs for the proposed financial institution, he said.

McAleer said Ventura County National Bank caters almost exclusively to businesses, and Moorpark Community will give it a banking arm tailored to the consumer market. He said Moorpark Community can take advantage of Ventura County National's computers and expertise to keep costs down and can benefit from referrals from the larger institution.

The investment group applied for a state charter Feb. 7 and approval usually takes about six months, McAleer said. Organizers of the new bank, in addition to Prieto and VCNB, are:

James Solheim, vice president of Metal Bellows in Moorpark; Elaine Freeman, vice president of land development for Griffin Homes in Calabasas; Lawrence Carignan, vice president of Jans Corp., a Thousand Oaks development company; Thomas Schleve, a Moorpark developer; Ray E. Anderson, president of Tecom Industries, a Chatsworth electronics firm; William J. La Perch, a Moorpark rancher, and Robert Kacik, an executive of a construction-supply company.

No president has been chosen for the new bank. Ventura County National Bank earned $653,000 in 1985 and had a net worth of $5.3 million on assets of $68.7 million as of Dec. 31.

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