Pioneer Savings Income Jumps

Pioneer Savings & Loan, a one-branch operation in Newport Beach that has long been Orange County's smallest thrift, posted net income of $111,800 for its fiscal first quarter.

The thrift's profit for the three-month period ended Jan. 31 was nearly treble the $42,300 earned in its fiscal first quarter last year. Quarterly revenue at the Newport Beach thrift shot up 67% to $1.2 million this year from $717,000 last year.

The thrift's increased lending and purchases of existing loan packages have helped its assets soar 50% to $51.8 million at the end of January from $34.6 million a year earlier.

Pioneer also has become one of the county's more stable thrifts by more than doubling the amount of capital it is required to have under three tough standards mandated by federal law, said Barbara White, the S&L;'s chief financial officer.

Once a sickly thrift with barely $15 million in assets, Pioneer was bought in 1990 by Spring Mountain Group, a private Newport Beach financial services company. With a healthy shot of new capital, Pioneer recovered and began growing.

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