Southern California Bank to Expand, Move to Anaheim : Finance: The institution, based in Downey for 30 years, hopes to raise up to $20 million to acquire new Orange County branches.


Signaling plans to expand its operations in Orange County, Southern California Bank said Monday that it will move its headquarters from Downey to Anaheim.

The move, pending regulatory approval, would make Southern California Bank, with $405 million in assets, the biggest bank based in Orange County.

Larry Hartwig, president and chief executive officer of the bank and its holding company, SC Bancorp, said the bank has filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct a rights offering that could bring in $16 million to $20 million for expansion. A rights offering gives existing shareholders the right to buy newly issued shares; if they decline, the bank would sell the stock to other buyers.

Southern California Bank has 15 branches, about half of which are in Orange County. Hartwig said he would seek to purchase one to five more branches here, or about $150 million to $200 million in deposits.

He said the bank is seeking ailing Orange County banks that have operations similar to Southern California Bank's: serving middle-market consumers and small businesses.

The bank has been based in Downey for 30 years, but "because of the downturn in aerospace and defense, the area has lost many small businesses that provided ancillary support services," Hartwig said. More of the bank's customers are now located in north Orange County, he said.

The move, to be completed in June, would involve relocating about a dozen employees. The bank will operate from a temporary headquarters at 3800 E. La Palma Ave. and will choose a permanent site after making its intended branch acquisitions, Hartwig said.

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