First Vietnamese American Bank Closes

Little Saigon's First Vietnamese American Bank, which as the name suggests opened five years ago as the first U.S. bank with a core clientele of Vietnamese immigrants, was shut down by regulators Friday night.

The bank at 8990 Westminster Blvd., Westminster, reopened today under new management and the umbrella of Grandpoint Bank, a Los Angeles company that buys other banks.

E. Scott Reckard has the scoop in the Los Angeles Times.

First Vietnamese American began struggling shortly after it opened in May 2005, getting hit with a string of regulatory enforcement orders beginning in 2006. It became the 143rd bank to fail this year, a record.

"Good idea, bad management," Hans Schroeder, a banking expert at Green Street Capital Management in San Francisco, tells Reckard.

Depositors are insured for at least $250,000 and will be able to continue banking without interruption, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.


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