The Directors of the Santa Ana Business Bank will now have more time on their hands for other activities
The Santa Ana Business Bank celebrated their grand opening on Nov. 29, 2007. Yesterday, the O.C. Register reported that “Santa Ana Business Bank will be acquired by Grandpoint Capital Inc., a bank holding company in Los Angeles, for an estimated $6 million.”
The idea behind this bank was positive, but from the start the bank was mired in controversy. And local blogs questioned whether the bank’s directors had chosen a good time to open their enterprise.
By 2008, the U.S. economy was crashing, and money to lend became hard to come by. And local businesses weren’t looking for cash. Many were looking for the exit. And the Santa Ana Business Bank shares dropped from $10 to $4.40, according to online reports. Currently they are valued at $3.50, according to NASDAQ.
It didn’t help that there were reports that the bank’s president had a chauffered Escalade. And that the main investor in the bank, George Pla, had apparent conflicts of interest given that a Santa Ana Councilman, Carlos Bustamante, was on the bank’s board, as were several Santa Ana City Commissioners.
Pla was in fact awarded a huge contract to design the Santa Ana light rail system, which will travel from the Santa Ana train station to downtown Garden Grove.
So how did the Santa Ana Business Bank’s investors make out? “Santa Ana Business Bank President Larry Frampton said the per-share price will be $5 or better,” according to the O.C. Register. It would appear that they may have lost half of their investment.
Little is known about the buyer of the Santa Ana Business Bank, Grandpoint Capital. They don’t have a website.
One of the founders of the Santa Ana Business Bank, local attorney Alfredo Amezcua, is now a candidate for Mayor of Santa Ana. Another founder, Mike Metzler, is reportedly on the way out of the Santa Ana Greater Business Alliance, which used to be known as the Santa Ana Chamber of Commerce.