(A little music to liven up your day.

Click on each play button to listen to the music)                          



Kit Menkin's Leasing News

www.leasingnews.org  Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Accurate, fair and unbiased news for the equipment Leasing Industry

Friday Leasing News posted www.leasingnews.org  at 10:25 am PDT




    e-Mail Removal Form:  \


 Pictures from the Past


Pat Roberts

M&R Leasing, Denver,CO




                      Help Wanted ads



Thanks! As a result of your postings I am interviewing two candidates this




Russ Munson




Classified Ads:


                          Six Leasing Industry Help Wanted



Accounting: San Jose, CA        "ELA"

Lease Accountant/Financial Reporting Manager to manage & develop staff, integrate & implement new systems & manage day-to-day accounting functions. Email: kf@administaff.com


Administrative Assistant: Scottsdale, AZ

Established and growing broker seeking a seasoned leasing person to assist with credit and funding. Friendly and low key office. Email:rick@mediacap.com



Administrative Assistant: New York, NY

Manhattan brokerage firm. We are looking for strong person to wear many hats, from credit to funding and vendor relations.

Call Phil Dushey 212-935-4370 Email:phil@globaleasing.com



Administrative: Northport, NY

North Shore Leasing & Funding has the need for an experienced Admin/Documentation person, if interested please call Stephen Kelly @ 631-754- 7769 ext.10 or Email: steve@nslf.com



Asset Management: New Orleans, LA

Portfolio Manager/Hibernia Bank/New Orleans/ Provides operational support for equipment leasing services. 7+ years of exp. in commercial equipment leasing/asset management. Email:lcallery@hibernia.com



Collector: Marshall, MN     

New Collection Manager position available to lead collection efforts in small ticket group. Works with Management peers to recommend actions on non-collectable accounts and ensure compliance to company policy. Email:tom.landmark@themanifestgroup.com    "UAEL "


                to view more “help wanted ads,” go to:






Commercial Money Center (Easy Money: Update)

   Tyco CEO Arranged Forgiving Of Loans    

     Neutron Jack Goes Down as What Comes Around Comes Around----

       PayWorld Reports Pension for GE Directors/Not Employees

         Deutsche Bank Sells St. Louis Leasing Unit

           Tuesday-Odds and Ends
             Aviation industry comments from the LT group of the Equipment Leasing Association

              Who is linked to your website?

                 Shapiro Controversy Resolved---

                   Bank of the West Expands to 300 More Locations

                     CalFirst Bancorp Announces First Quarter Dividend


### Denotes Press Release


Commercial Money Center  (Easy Money: Update)


Easy Money: Update: Advance-fee finance company's reorganization becomes liquidation amidst Ponzi scheme accusations


With creditors questioning Commercial Money Center's legitimacy and disputing responsibility for debts, a federal judge bumped the company's bankruptcy from reorganization to liquidation. CMC has been the subject of a Land Line probe into owner-operator complaints about the high-interest, and often unreliable, equipment financing offered by advance-fee finance companies.


Since CMC filed for reorganization May 30 in Fort Lauderdale's U.S. Bankruptcy Court, some of the company's creditors claim they are victims of a massive Ponzi scheme, according to the Miami Herald. A Ponzi scheme is an investment swindle in which some early investors are paid off with money put up by later ones in order to encourage more and bigger risks.


CMC's Boca Raton attorney Bradley S. Shraiberg told the newspaper CMC leases went to companies or individuals with poor credit who were willing to pay high interest rates. According to the news report, the company pooled the leases and sold the income stream to investors, typically banks and other financial institutions, then bought insurance policies or surety bonds to pay investors if lessees didn't make payments.


Investors and insurance companies now dispute responsibility for the unpaid leases. The insurers question the legitimacy of the leases, saying they were set up with shell companies or individuals whose signatures were forged. The insurance and bonding companies are just trying to get out of paying claims on the defaulted leases.


''This case is a massive fraud, a Ponzi scheme of epic proportions,'' Miami bankruptcy lawyer Howard Berlin told the Herald. These creditors aren't your run-of-the-mill man-on-the-street investors; they're insurance and surety companies with claims totaling more than $400 million. Berlin represents Illinois Union, an insurer that issued bonds totaling more than $100 million.


Shraiberg told the bankruptcy court CMC operated successful until a South Florida company defaulted on a $30 million lease in August 2000, prompting CMC to file claims with its insurance companies, according to the Herald. However, the insurance companies refused to pay on the defaulted lease, and CMC has filed lawsuits against five of its insurers.


RLI Insurance, which issued surety bonds totaling $54 million, told the newspaper its investigation discovered many of the leases were fraudulent or fictitious. The insurance company filed its own federal lawsuit against CMC in southern California, where CMC had operations until March 2002. RLI's attorney, Russell S. Bogue III, told the bankruptcy court CMC filed bankruptcy in Fort Lauderdale to avoid the rulings of the federal court in California, according to the newspaper. However, Shraiberg says CMC filed in South Florida to be close to the party that had defaulted on the $30 million lease.


The bankruptcy judge is expected to issue his decision any day now whether CMC's liquidation should be overseen in Florida or California. The court approved the employment of Las Vegas Auction Inc. as the auctioneer.


--René Tankersley, feature editor


Landline Magazine

The Official Publication

of the Owner-Operator

Independent Drivers




Tyco CEO Arranged Forgiving Of Loans
By Ben White
Washington Post Staff Writer

NEW YORK, -- More than 40 Tyco International Ltd. employees received loans from the company worth tens of millions of dollars that were later forgiven at former chief executive L. Dennis Kozlowski's direction, raising fresh questions about how money flowed so freely to favored workers without public disclosure.


A filing the company is to make this morning with the Securities and Exchange Commission is to include the names of Tyco employees whose loans were forgiven, a person familiar with the matter said. The list includes as many as 15 senior managers, the person said.


The filing will closely track a lawsuit Tyco filed against Kozlowski last week alleging that he enlisted numerous Tyco employees, including former chief financial officer Mark H. Swartz and former general counsel Mark A. Belnick, in a scheme to circumvent Tyco's board of directors and steal hundreds of millions of dollars from the company by abusing loan programs and making unauthorized cash and stock awards. Kozlowski, Swartz and Belnick were indicted on several criminal counts last week. All three pleaded not guilty.


In its lawsuit, Tyco alleged that Kozlowski directed an executive in the human resources department to secure confidentiality agreements from the 40 or so employees indicating that they would forfeit the benefit if they ever spoke publicly about having their loans forgiven.


The Tyco lawsuit included a list of 42 employees who received the loans, intended to help them relocate to Boca Raton, Fla., but it did not give their full names. The loans were first reported by the New York Times.


According to the suit filed by Tyco, Kozlowksi falsely informed the human resources official that the company's board had approved the loan forgiveness and the additional payment of taxes associated with the loans. When the official requested documentation of the approval, Kozlowski provided a letter saying "a decision has been made to forgive the relocation loans for those individuals . . . whose efforts were instrumental" to completing an initial public offering of stock in Tyco's TyCom unit.


"He never gave that memo to the board," a source close to Tyco said. "If you listen carefully you notice that he never said the board approved the loan forgiveness, and [the human resources official] never went to the board and checked."


The forgiven loans adds to a picture painted by New York prosecutors and Securities and Exchange Commission officials of a company dominated by Kozlowski, with a board that failed to catch scores of instances in which the former chief executive, along with Swartz and to a lesser degree Belnick, took out enormous loans to purchase homes, jewelry, yachts and other luxury items only to later have those loans largely forgiven.


The criminal indictments returned last week described Kozlowski as "the boss" and Swartz as the "chief operating officer" of a discreet criminal enterprise at Tyco. According to the indictments, Kozlowski controlled the flow of information to the board by having the internal audit committee report to him first, ensuring that directors would not learn of abuses in two loan programs.


The indictment also suggested that as many as three Tyco directors received payments from Kozlowski intended to buy their silence.


Tyco's own lawsuit named only one director, Frank Walsh, who allegedly received an improper payment. Tyco alleged that in July 2001 Kozlowski directed that Walsh, who chaired the compensation committee in the late 1990s, be awarded a $20 million bonus for helping arrange Tyco's acquisition of CIT Group Inc., a financial services company.


In its lawsuit, Tyco said the board learned of the payment to Walsh in January of this year, after reading about it in a proxy statement, and immediately demanded that Walsh return the money. The suit says Walsh refused, walking out of a board meeting with a dismissive "adios" when asked to give back the $20 million.


Officials close to Tyco say an internal investigation conducted by David Boies and the staff of Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP concluded that there was little the board could have done to stop the alleged theft.


"One of the things that came out of the review is that where you have the chief executive, the chief financial officer and the chief counsel of a company not fulfilling their duties, the board is really at a severe disadvantage in terms of access to information," an official close to Tyco said. "If one or two of those officials acted improperly, the board might have been able to catch it. With all three acting improperly, it becomes much, much harder."


But prosecutors in the Manhattan district attorney's office say that other executives and more than one director took part in the alleged criminal enterprise and thus have not ruled out charging the company itself, an official familiar with the investigation said.


Corporate governance experts today largely sympathized with Tyco's board, saying there was little the directors could do if senior executives colluded to keep them in the dark.


"The allegations are that these guys engaged in a really aggressive coverup," said Thomas Joo, a corporate governance expert at the University of California at Davis law school. "It's really hard to do much about that. These guys had chutzpah that not many people have."


Still, Joo said it would be wrong to exonerate the board before more is known about what they knew. In the meantime, Joo said, the audacity of the alleged theft at Tyco helps illustrate the degree to which corporate boards lost power in the booming 1990s.


"Really in the last decade and a half the reality has been that companies are run by managers and directors are along for the ride, to rubber stamp management decisions and to have meetings once in a while," Joo said. He said that recent attempts by Congress and stock markets to improve corporate governance standards would help but that aggressive prosecutions were perhaps the best approach.


Ann Yerger, director of research at the Council of Institutional Investors, also said the Tyco board may not have been in a position to catch the alleged fraud.


"If these people are lying to you, what are you supposed to do?" she asked. But Yerger said if there had been better protections for whistle-blowers, lower-level Tyco employees might have gone to the board with information about potentially improper payments. And, she said, the Tyco experience probably will generate a great deal of healthy boardroom anxiety.


"Clearly there will be a lot of soul searching among compensation committees and boards of directors about how you avoid a situation like this, how you avoid getting snookered."






Neutron Jack Goes Down as What Comes Around Comes Around----

SEC Probes Ex-GE CEO's Compensation


"In fact, my favorite team, the Red Sox, has played 162 home games over the past two years, and I've attended just one."  He says for PR spin.


---However, he does give the tickets he doesn't use to friends and those who do him favors, it is reported, even if he does not use them himself personally.



By RICH HARRIS, Associated Press Writer


HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The Securities and Exchange Commission ( news -  web sites) has opened an informal investigation into former General Electric Co. chief Jack Welch's retirement perks.


Welch, stung by public criticism over the extent of the lavish package — which included use of a Manhattan apartment and corporate planes, asked GE to take back many of the benefits late last week. GE's board of directors agreed to do so Thursday.


The company received notice of the SEC inquiry the next day and is cooperating, said GE spokesman Gary Sheffer. ( A big Red Sox fan?. )


The perks came to light as part of legal papers filed in a divorce case by Welch's wife, Janet. She claims the $35,000 a month in support she is currently receiving does not provide the same lifestyle to which she was previously accustomed.

(Barry Bonds wife got more!!!)


GE paid for all expenses at the Manhattan apartment, including food, wine, cook and wait staff, laundry, and furnishings, the divorce papers said. In addition, the company provided for Welch's travel expenses, entertainment, private car and driver, and computer equipment, the documents said.


On Monday, The Wall Street Journal ran a column by Welch in which he said the perks had been "grossly misrepresented" in the divorce case.


"For the record, I've always paid for my personal meals, don't have a cook, have no personal tickets to cultural and sporting events and rarely use GE or NBC seats for such events," Welch wrote. "In fact, my favorite team, the Red Sox, has played 162 home games over the past two years, and I've attended just one."


But Welch said that in an era of alleged abuses by senior managers at such companies as Tyco International, Adelphia Communications and ImClone, he was giving up the perks because "perception matters."  (The IRS and Securities

Exchange Commission investigations had nothing to do with it---yeah, right?)


"In this environment, I don't want a great company with the highest integrity dragged into a public fight because of my divorce proceedings," he wrote. "I care too much for GE and its people." (Those he didn't fire or cause to be dismissed.)


Welch, who retired just over a year ago, wrote that he agreed in 1996 to extend his tenure at GE through 2000 and opted to take a package of benefits extending into his retirement instead of taking a "special one-time payment of tens of millions of dollars." (as a favor to shareholders, not personally, no doubt).


But he said he had since asked the GE board to eliminate everything from his contract "except the traditional office and administrative support given for decades to all retired GE chairmen and vice chairmen."


GE said the terms of Welch's compensation were contained in its proxy statement, filed with the SEC in March 1997. That document does not list specific perks but said the compensation was justified to ensure that "Mr. Welch's skill and experience would be available to the company in the future."



SEC spokesman John Heine in Washington would neither confirm nor deny that the agency was investigating.


The Welches disclosed their plans to divorce in March, shortly after Harvard Business Review editor Suzy Wetlaufer revealed she had become romantically involved with Welch while working on a story about him. (He was married

at the time of the affair.  She liked his quotes a lot.)


More to be revealed in divorce proceedings.





PayWorld Reports Pension for  GE Directors/Not Employees


The GE Pension Plan added $1.5 billion to GE's earnings in 2001.

GE has not contributed to the GE Pension Fund since 1987.


For years, longtime General Electric CEO Jack Welch was ranked as one of the most highly compensated CEOs in corporate America. When he retired last year, he left GE with $250 million in exercisable stock options and another $228 million in stock as of Dec. 31, 2001. [1] You might think with a net worth approaching half a billion dollars, Welch's retirement would be secure.


Yet like most CEOs, Welch also is entitled to a generous retirement package in addition to the large amounts of equity compensation he has accumulated over the years. Welch stands to receive a pension benefit of nearly $10 million every year for the rest of his life. [2] That's more than the vast majority of CEOs receive in cash compensation in a year while they are working! 


In an increasingly common practice, GE created a second retirement system reserved for executives only. Known as the GE Supplementary Pension Plan and the GE Excess Benefit Plan, these plans pay GE executives extra benefits not given to regular workers. GE's pension liability for benefits promised to GE executives totals $1.13 billion. [3]


This dual system doesn't stop with GE's defined-benefit pension plans. GE executives can contribute up to 50 percent of their salary to a deferred compensation account similar to a 401(k) plan. But unlike workers' 401(k) accounts, which are exposed to financial market risk, GE pays executives a guaranteed rate of return. In 2000, this interest rate was 12 percent. [4]


GE has been less generous with its workers' retirement plan: The company has not contributed to the GE Pension Fund since 1987. When asked if GE would increase pension benefits for retirees, Welch told workers, "All the cash stays in the pension fund." [5] The company's pension plan has built up a surplus of almost $15 billion, or almost 50 percent more than GE is willing to pay retirees. These pension surpluses contribute to GE's bottom line, adding almost $1.5 billion to GE's income in 2001. [6] This pension income helps GE executives make their earnings targets, which in turn boosts their compensation packages.


Unlike his predecessor, GE's new CEO Jeffrey Immelt may feel more obligated to look out for the retirement security of GE workers. His retired father worked for GE for 38 years. When Immelt called his dad to tell him about the promotion, his father first congratulated him and then told him, "Now you can do something about the pension." [7]




[1] 2002 GE Proxy Statement.


[2] "In Post-Enron World, G.E. Increases the Financial Information in Its Annual Report," The New York Times, March 9, 2002.


[3] "For Regular Retirees, the Risks Are Greater," The Wall Street Journal, June 20, 2001.


[4] "For Executives, Nest Egg Is Wrapped in a Security Blanket ," The New York Times, March 5, 2002.


[5] "General Electric Stock Split Approved, Protest Held," Bloomberg News, April 26, 2000.


[6] 2001 GE Annual Report.


[7] "A Talk With Jeff Immelt," Business Week, Jan. 28, 2002.





Deutsche Bank Sells St. Louis Leasing Unit


BERLIN (AP) -- Germany's Deutsche Bank said Monday it is selling a part of its leasing business in the United States to a division of General Electric Co. for about $2.9 billion.


Germany's biggest bank said it was selling almost all the business of St. Louis-based Deutsche Financial Services to GE Commercial Finance. Deutsche Financial Services has 1,200 employees serving companies in North America and Europe.


GE Commercial Finance, which is based in Stamford, Conn., is buying the businesses through its Vendor Financial Services unit.


The value of the deal includes debt repayments. The sale, which needs regulatory approval, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.


Deutsche Bank chief executive Josef Ackermann said that "this is an important further step in our strategy to focus on core businesses."


German banks have been struggling with a slowing economy, weak financial markets and what analysts say are excessively high overheads.


Deutsche Bank has been shedding peripheral businesses with thousands of employees as part of a drive to boost profits.


The sale announced Monday excludes some of Deutsche's U.S. housing and consumer finance business.





              Tuesday—Odds and Ends


eMail Software Program


Thursday we sent out a test, and those that responded, said it was fine.

However, the next day, over 1200 came back as undeliverable, and we

received a series of multiple deliveries:


Kit: Today I got your "test" mail program, along with three newsletters.  Just thought you'd like to know.




Bruce Larsen


Summit Funding Corp.




five times---this is a new mail program!!!



 Robert Addison




your e-mail hit me 5 times this morning, one will do it buddy thanks


Jim Denhard









five times---this is a new mail program!!!


  To: kitmenkin@leasingnews.org



your e-mail hit me 5 times this morning, one will do it buddy thanks



Something is wrong with your email server, I got your Friday message today 6 times For the past week or so I have received 2 emails from you on the same subjects.


Hope you get this straightened out.



I have not received leasing news past couple of days.  my email is



i am an independent lease broker.  the name is KMSRFinancial

Services.  i hope everything is o.k.  I look forward to your

leasing news.

 ---and many, many more---


(We have no way to reach readers directly to let them know to contact:

dul@mail-abuse.org  in order to receive Leasing News.


(We have asked our e-mail internet consultant to look into this, as this new software program was to be a solution to the old one, which I don’t want to bore you, but if a company lists you are Spam, they arbitrarily put you on a list, without notifying you, and some want a fee  for “protection.”


)In the meantime, we are looking at a third software program, which may have

other features, such as accessing your mail from any computer, making changes

from another computer  (for consultants who cannot come in right away), and

maybe this is the answer, requiring new DNS registration ( takes up to 48 hours

to take effect.) 


In the meantime, readers have telephoned and sent e-mails that they thought we

have taken them off the list...We have not. We are actively trying to solve the

e-mail delivery. Believe me, this has not been any fun. editor )


Fred St. Laurent contacted his carrier:


 In a recent online chat with your technical support team I was told that you

were blocking the address below because of anti Spam policies...

This is NOT Spam!!!

This is an industry related newsletter that is extremely important to me and

if you continue to block this address I will not only cancel the RR service

at home but will cancel my business class account at the office.


I am very serious about this and have considered offers lately from DSL

providers... this could be the straw that "breaks the camels back"


Please respond as soon as possible


Mr. Fred St Laurent


Managing Director - Recruiting

Bradbury and Williamson, Inc.

Financial Services Division

4550 River Green Parkway - Suite 120

Duluth, Georgia 30096


Fax 321-952-5643






RE: the aviation industry comments from the LT group of the Equipment Leasing Association.


With considerable experience in commercial aviation financing in my 29

years in the business, I predict that it's not about to get better, but

worse.  In my opinion, US Air's Ch. 11 will have quite a domino effect.  My

reasoning is as follows:


1) US Air has already rejected some 70 airframes, 150+engines, etc. which

are being placed on the market by the Lessors/Leinholders.

2) I predict that the remaining debt or leases on their books will be

negotiated down to around 60% based on current collateral values and the

lessors will have to accept that diminishment of their assets (leases or


3) This will result in US Air being able to operate on roughly 35% of the

debt service they had previously.  This will provide such a huge advantage

over the other Big 6, that it is likely all but Southwest will file 11 or

flirt seriously with the idea while negotiating with their


4) That will result another round of airframes and engines being dumped on

the market, further hurting values and recoveries among the banks and

lessors holding billions in such debt/leases.

5) If we go to war with Iraq, this will make the situation worse. (Although

I personally support President Bush's proactive stance against Iraq).


I am generally an optimist in all business matters, but I am also a

realist. I cannot see any other result unfolding.


Gary Millhollon




First Capital Group, Inc.






Who is linked to your website?


Go to any search engine  or 37.com or Copernic, and type in link:    followed

by your website. Such as link:www.leasingnews.org


The search engine will tell you how many links are to your site as recognized

by their search.  At Leasing News, we found:
















Shapiro Controversy Resolved---


Richard Shapiro—San Diego “Top Gun”: Conference, October 3-5

      United Association of Equipment Leasing


Leasing News had printed the e-mail that Richard Shapiro has left

the leasing sales field to----


“I have ended my Leasing career.


“My Wife & I sold our Home in Anaheim and we have moved to Marina Del Rey

with our 19 month.old son named Westin.


“We made great money on the sell of our home and we had good savings

already so we have changed gears and along with 9/11 have put life more in

prospective, Linda will be going back to school in Feb toward a LVN

License and I’ve started a street Vending Business selling coffee and juices, I

start my first location 9/16/02 in front of the West Los Angeles Courthouse.


“Saddleback Financial really took the wind out of my sail, they still owe

me for my last (5) deals, over $425,000 of business and a lot of

commissions and they’re not the only company that got me, American Medical Capital which was owned by Tony Ricco filed for BK a couple of months ago and I had (1) deal in funding with them for $86,000, I will never see any of these

commissions, over $16,000.”



The original reaction was he should not appear in the “Top Gun” Sales Panel

was he was no longer in the leasing business, but the consensus appears to have changed:


  UAEL President Bob Fisher


Sorry, I have been on the road.


You have put together a solid group.


It is your panel(s), you run it!


If Richard wants to be on it--- fine!




robert fisher , CLP




From “Top Gun” Conference Chair John Kruse:


Go for it.  I was out on Friday so I did not get a chance to respond.  I

think it is great that we all have varying opinions and are able to voice

them.  It's a bit comical that it gets blown so far out of proportion.


.  I don't think this is life and death so lets let it play out. 


It will be great either way.


Looking forward to a great conference!








UAEL CEO Joe Woodley


As Staff at UAEL, I support President Bob Fishers' position to have you run your panel as you see fit.


Keep up the good work, and hope to see you in San Diego.


Joe Woodley, CLP



P.S. To learn more on how to attend one of the many workshops,

see the exhibits, and “ get involved, “ go to: www.uael.org




An opinion from someone outside the industry.  Thanks, Bob Teichman, for

your vote of confidence.  Kit, as a few of your readership may remember,

I've put together many a WAEL conference panel, and have sat on many as

well.  What they may not know is that there were those that I was passionate

about and those that I agreed to undertake, sometimes after having been

asked only because no one else who wanted to do it, merely as a way to

payback the great value I received from my industry (at the time), my

Association, and my many good friends and associates in the industry.

Sometimes I thought that what I had to say was very important, and sometimes

I thought I was wasting people's time, and in fact, probably would not have

attended my own workshops had I had the choice.


If I were asked today to speak about leasing, I would no longer feel

competent about the subject.  If I were asked to share some of my leasing

experiences from the 70s, 80s and 90s, I'd think that most of what I had to

say would be redundant to the experiences of today, and probably not nearly

as relevant or dramatic (our frauds being only in the tens of millions back

then).  On the other hand, if I were asked to explain how my leasing

experiences have helped me become a better recruiter, or how I think

employers (companies within the leasing industry included) could be more

effective in selecting and hiring the right people for their firm, I might

consider this to be of value.


I don't know Rich Shapiro, so I really can't assess the value of what he

might be able to contribute to a workshop or seminar panel.  My point here,

however, is that no matter what industry we are in, we can all learn from

the experiences of others, whether of our own industry or not.  And the fact

is, that there are many in my industry (both then and now) to whom I

wouldn't want to waste my time listening.  If being in the industry were a

criteria for speaking to that industry, there are many, many good,

informative and enjoyable speaker that (we as) leasing people would not have

had the privilege, the enjoyment and the laughs from having heard over the




Hal T. Horowitz

Account Executive

Search West

340 North Westlake Blvd., Suite 200

Westlake Village, CA 91336

Phone: 805-496-6811 ext. 231

Fax: 805-496-9431

Cell: 818-730-0645




"It is my mission to collaborate with my clients in order to further their

success by identifying professionals of uncommon ability to whom my clients

might not otherwise have access and who will make a valuable contribution to

my clients' goals."


To find superior people

You must first define superior performance.



please send to a friend to help built our readership.



################ ##############################################


Bank of the West Debuts in Southern California; Branch Network Expands to Nearly 300 Locations



 (Parent of Bank of the West Leasing)


SAN FRANCISCO----Bank of the West introduced its brand across Southern California as the San Francisco-based bank completed its integration of United California Bank ("UCB"). More than 100 former UCB locations around the state have become Bank of the West branches -- 74 in Southern California, 22 in Northern California and 12 in Central California -- doubling the bank's California presence. Bank of the West now operates 295 branches in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington state and Idaho.


"Southern Californians now have a banking choice that offers the best of both worlds -- a bank with significant financial strength and an extensive branch network, plus friendly, personal service and customer satisfaction as its number one priority," said Don J. McGrath, President and Chief Executive Officer of Bank of the West. "Research shows that people are tired of impersonal service," McGrath added. "They want bankers who really care about their financial needs, and relationship-oriented service is the hallmark of Bank of the West."


The bank is simultaneously launching a multimillion-dollar print, broadcast and outdoor advertising campaign to establish its brand in Southern California. A shorter campaign will run in Northern California.


Investing for Growth


In conjunction with its Southern California debut today, Bank of the West also opened two new Southern California branches in the rapidly growing Santa Clarita Valley communities of Valencia and Porter Ranch. New branches are also slated to open in Oxnard and Ventura in the fourth quarter.


"Bank of the West is committed to fully serving all our communities," said McGrath. "We have a strong presence in other Western markets, and Southern California is now among the strongest regional economies in the U.S."


Bank of the West will maintain administrative and processing centers in Los Angeles as well as branches.


In June, Bank of the West reported net income of $86.0 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2002, an increase of $50.5 million, or 142% over the same quarter 2001. Bank of the West and its parent companies acquired United California Bank in a $2.4 billion transaction that concluded in March. The April-June quarter was the first full quarter for which combined performance was reported.


Bank of the West currently has $25 billion in assets, making it the third largest commercial bank headquartered in the state. The bank has $15 billion in deposits in California.


Bank of the West has proven strengths in several primary lines of business:


--  Regional Banking -- full retail and small-business deposit,

credit and investment services emphasizing personalized

customer service, and a unique 18-branch system in California

with specialized domestic and international products and

services for individuals and companies in predominantly Asian

American communities


--  Consumer Credit -- auto loans, leases and home equity credit

in California and the West; recreational vehicle and marine

loans nationwide


--  Commercial Banking -- lending and deposit services for

middle-market companies, including agriculture, commercial

real estate, and international trade. Nationwide SBA lending,


equipment leasing and loans to faith-based institutions

--  Wealth Management -- trust and investment services, investment

management, including proprietary Eureka Funds, and a 401(k)

plan sales program.


Part of a Global Enterprise


Bank of the West (www.bankofthewest.com) is part of BancWest Corporation, a bank holding company wholly owned by Paris-based BNP Paribas.


About BancWest


BancWest Corporation (www.bancwest.com), with assets of $34 billion, has offices in San Francisco and Honolulu, Hawaii. Its principal subsidiaries are:


--  Bank of the West, with 295 branches in California, Oregon, New

Mexico, Nevada, Washington state and Idaho.


--  First Hawaiian Bank, with 56 branches in Hawaii, three in Guam

and two in Saipan.


About BNP Paribas


BNP Paribas (www.bnpparibas.com), headquartered in Paris, is France's largest publicly traded banking group and 7th largest in the world. With assets of $825 billion, it has one of the world's most extensive international networks, with offices in 87 countries.




Bank of the West


John Stafford, 415/765-4850


Bob Wolff, 213/896-7488


SOURCE: Bank of the West


############## #############################


CalFirst Bancorp Announces First Quarter Dividend



SANTA ANA, Calif.----The board of directors of California First National Bancorp (Nasdaq:CFNB) declares a quarterly cash dividend in the amount of $0.04 per share.


The dividend will be payable on Oct. 11, 2002 to all stockholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 27, 2002.


California First National Bancorp is a diversified financial services company with two primary businesses -- leasing of high technology capital assets to businesses and organizations nationwide, and banking through a FDIC-insured national bank.




California First National Bancorp, Santa Ana


S. Leslie Jewett, 800/496-4640








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"Top Gun"

October 5, 2002 Saturday

Leasing News--Two Workshops
"Top Gun" Salesmen
"Top Gun " Sales Managers

Jim Raeder
Ignacio Sanchez
Richard Shapiro
Tony Sherwin

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