BANKING : Federal Regulators Hit Corporate Bank With Cease-and-Desist Order

Compiled by James S. Granelli, Times staff writer

The long recession that has sent regulators scurrying through Southern California banks with orders to fix problems has claimed another Orange County institution.

Corporate Bank in Santa Ana has been slapped with a cease-and-desist order, the severest restriction that regulators can impose short of a federal takeover. The once-feared order, however, has become so commonplace among community banks here that many bankers view them more as a guide to help them work through problems.

Unlike most banks facing federal restrictions, Corporate has a healthy amount of capital--its final reserve against losses--and isn't searching for more. What regulators don't like is the $7.8 million in delinquent loans and real estate the bank holds through foreclosures.

Chairman Stanley Pawlowski said the bank sold an apartment complex last week and will cut its problemassets in half by the end of June.

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