Orange County Business Journal

2 OC Banks Make SNL Financial’s Top 25

Jane Yu Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Two Orange County-based banks were among the best-performing community banks last year, according to a ranking compiled by SNL Financial LC, a Charlottesville, Va.-based information services firm.

SNL’s data cover more than 6,500 public companies and 50,000 private companies in various sectors, including banking, insurance and media.

SNL considered 765 banks with assets between $500 million and $5 billion for the latest ranking. The company looked at the banks’ performance on profitability, asset quality and overall growth last year. A number of other areas were factors, including net interest margin, rate of loan growth and return on average assets before tax.

Irvine-based Pacific Premier Bancorp Inc. made No. 2 on the list, up six from a year earlier. The company recently completed its acquisition of Dallas-based First Associations Bank, and is amid a deal to buy San Diego Trust Bank.

Pacific Premier’s subsidiary Pacific Premier Bank is among the largest OC-based banks, with $1.17 billion in total assets as of December. It is expected to reach about $1.7 billion in assets once the pending deal is completed.

Pacific Premier had a loan-growth rate of 33.48% last year, compared with an average of 25.56% for the top 25 community banks on the list.

Its net interest margin was 4.8%, slightly above the average at 4.48%.

California Republic Bank, also based in Irvine, was No. 3 on the SNL list. It had $591.8 million in total assets as of December. The bank saw its loan portfolio grow by 38.6% last year, and had a net interest margin of 5.6%—a level SNL described as “strong.”

SNL’s list of the top 100 community banks included 10 other California-based banks. First General Bank in Rowland Heights was No. 1, after it improved in five of the six areas considered for the ranking, according to SNL. First General’s loans grew 29.2% last year, and its net interest margin was 4.46%.