Paribas Completes Deal for United California

French bank BNP Paribas completed its $2.4-billion purchase of Los Angeles-based United California Bank, which it will merge with Bank of the West in San Francisco to create the state’s fourth-largest bank.

After buying United California from UFJ Bank Ltd. of Japan, BNP Paribas, through its BancWest Corp. subsidiary in Honolulu, has $34 billion in assets and 350 branches in California, six other Western states, Guam and Saipan. United California, created last year when Sanwa Bank California merged with Tokai Bank of California, will become part of Bank of the West.

The combined institution will eliminate the equivalent of 500 to 600 full-time positions from a work force of 6,000, mostly through attrition, said Don J. McGrath, president of BancWest and chief executive of Bank of the West.