November 01, 2007
Southern California Fires Update
Due to the fire emergency in Southern California, Chief Deputy Commissioner of Financial Institutions Carol D. Chesbrough, authorized banks located in the counties of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Ventura declared to be in a state of emergency due to the fire emergency to close any or all of their offices on October 22, 2007 pursuant to California Financial Code Section 3600, the "Bank Extraordinary Situation Closing Act". The order authorizing banks to close was lifted on October 29, 2007.
During that time, the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) requested and received information from its licensees about branch offices that closed due to the fire emergency. The Department would like to thank and acknowledge its licensees that responded to this emergency request.
DFI recognizes the serious impact the Southern California fires have had and will continue to have on financial institutions and the communities they serve. We encourage our licensees to work with customers who have been affected by the fires and we recognize the actions of licensees that are assisting in the recovery effort. Pacific Western Bank, San Diego has announced that it is donating $1 million to the Pacific Western Fund at the San Diego Foundation. The donation will be used initially to help fund recovery efforts stemming from the October 2007 wildfires and on an ongoing basis for projects in the region geared toward improving the local communities. Of the donation, $100,000 has been designated to benefit families of firefighters and policemen. The donation is the largest in the history of Pacific Western and its parent, First Community Bancorp.
The Department of Consumer Affairs, in partnership with the Governor's Office and the State and Consumer Services Agency has developed a Consumer Protection Hotline for the people that have been impacted by the Southern California Wild Fires. Please inform your customers who were affected by this tragic event that they can call 1-800-952-5210 or go to www.rebuildyourlife.ca.gov for consumer protection.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has issued a Financial Institution Letter giving guidance to banks on supervisory practices regarding depository institutions and borrowers affected by the fires.