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BankAmerica to Buy Parent of Nevada First Bank

Times Staff Writer

In its second acquisition in as many weeks, BankAmerica said Monday that it has signed an agreement to buy the parent of Nevada First Bank.

With headquarters in Reno, Nevada First operates 14 branches in Nevada and has assets of $200 million. It is the state’s fifth-largest bank. Its parent is Nevada First Development Corp.

A spokesman for BankAmerica said the purchase price would not be disclosed because the 5-year-old Nevada banking company is privately held by its founders, Sidney B. Stern and his wife, Vera L. Stern.

‘Important Addition’

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Last week, BankAmerica said it had agreed to buy a small savings bank in Tacoma, Wash., which will be combined with Seattle-First National Bank, a BankAmerica subsidiary. The Washington deal was the San Francisco banking giant’s first acquisition since 1983.

With its Nevada acquisition, BankAmerica will become the third major California bank with a subsidiary in that neighboring state. First Interstate and Security Pacific Corp. already own banks there.

“Nevada First Bank is a highly profitable institution and an important addition to the BankAmerica network of financial services operations in the Western United States,” said A. W. Clausen, chairman and chief executive of the California bank.

The plan to buy two consumer-oriented banks illustrates a key change in strategy that has occurred over the last two years at BankAmerica.

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Once the world’s biggest bank and a major international player, the San Francisco-based company is now concentrating on consumer banking in the West and is cutting back worldwide. Its principal subsidiary, Bank of America, is California’s largest bank.

Peter Magnani, a B of A spokesman, said BankAmerica expects the Nevada bank to continue growing and that the company will introduce many of its California-developed consumer products to Nevada customers.


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