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US: Nation’s two largest Korean American banks

 |  December 7, 2015

The nation’s two largest Korean American banks, both with headquarters in Los Angeles, plan to merge in a deal that will create an ethnic banking powerhouse – and that stymies an effort by another local bank to stop the deal.

In a deal announced early Monday, BBCN Bancorp said it will acquire smaller rival Wilshire Bancorp for $1 billion in an all-stock deal. Both banks, with headquarters just blocks from each other on Wilshire Boulevard in Koreatown, specialize in lending to businesses owned by Korean immigrants.

Combined, the two banks would have branches in nine states and $12.3 billion in assets, according to an investor presentation on the deal, making it by far the country’s largest Korean American bank.

“The combination of BBCN and Wilshire will create an unrivaled organization with the only national platform providing full banking services in all of the major geographic markets in the United States with sizable Korean-American communities,” said Steven S. Koh, Wilshire’s chairman, in a statement.

Full content: Street Insider

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