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San Fernando
Monday, Jul 15, 2024

econowatch2

By SHELLY GARCIA Staff Reporter While most of the Econowatch signs point to a robust economy for the San Fernando Valley, the area has yet to feel the full impact of the recent bank mergers on the local economy. The completion of the merger between the parent companies of Glendale Federal Bank and California Federal Bank in recent weeks will affect 11 branches in the Valley as the newly formed company, Golden State Bancorp, reorganizes its branch operations. Among the branches that will be closed are Glendale Federal operations in Burbank, Camarillo, Chatsworth, Granada Hills, Northridge and Woodland Hills and California Federal branches in Canoga Park, Glendale, Sherman Oaks and Westlake Village. The remaining branches will operate under the California Federal Bank name. About 800 people, mostly from the corporate headquarters staff in Glendale, will be laid off. The acquisitions of Great Western and American Savings banks by Seattle-based Washington Mutual Inc. have also resulted in the closure of San Fernando Valley branches. American Savings branches in Woodland Hills, Glendale and Tarzana have already merged or will be merging with Great Western Bank branches in Canoga Park, Glendale and Tarzana, respectively. Meanwhile, Great Western branches in Lancaster, Northridge, Encino, Studio City, Van Nuys and Thousand Oaks will be consolidating with other branches in those same areas. In all, nine San Fernando, Antelope and Conejo valley banks will be affected by the merger of Great Western and American with Washington Mutual. The pending acquisition of H. F. Ahmanson & Co. by Washington Mutual will affect still more branches in the San Fernando Valley as the company begins to merge Ahmanson’s thrift business, Home Savings Bank, into its operation. Earlier, Ahmanson had acquired Coast Savings Financial, a move that resulted in the closure of five local banks. The former Home Savings corporate headquarters, in West Hills, is also expected to be sold.

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