Regulators Reported Seeking FCA Buyer Before Gray Leaves as Bank Board Chief

The Federal Home Loan Bank Board is seeking a buyer for Financial Corp. of America, the holding company for American Savings & Loan, an industry trade paper said Friday.

Quoting unidentified sources in Washington, National Thrift News said that regulators are making a "top priority" of finding a buyer for Irvine-based FCA before Edwin J. Gray leaves as bank board chairman. Gray, who is scheduled to leave the post at the end of June, could not be reached for comment.

"I think the story is exactly right," the head of one California financial institution told The Times. "Ed is trying to get this resolved on his watch." One possible buyer, he added, is William E. Simon, a former secretary of the treasury and an active savings and loan investor.

FCA has been under close regulatory supervision since 1984, after it nearly failed during a deposit run. Later losses pushed American Savings' capital well below regulatory requirements.

A spokeswoman for FCA declined to confirm the trade paper's report but said that the company has been saying for two years that it would welcome any outside capital. "We're open to all proposals," she said.

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