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STATE'S SMALLEST SAVINGS & LOAN REPORTS MAJOR GAINS FOR 1991

 STATE'S SMALLEST SAVINGS & LOAN REPORTS MAJOR GAINS FOR 1991
 NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., Feb. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Sometimes good things do come in small packages. That is certainly the case with single- branch Pioneer Savings and Loan Association, California's smallest savings and loan (third quarter, 1991), which has reported a 184 percent increase in net income from 1990 to 1991, fiscal year ending Oct. 31, 1991.
 In an industry racked with controversy and bleeding red ink, the tiny thrift has quietly gone about its business, concentrating on attracting area depositors and focusing on loans for local single-family homes.
 The soundness of this strategy is borne out by the numbers: total assets grew by 89 percent to $51.9 million; total deposits nearly doubled to $47.6 million; net investment in real estate loans ballooned to $45.6 million, a 160 percent increase; and return on equity jumped by 4.5 percent to 12.4 percent.
 Complimenting this stellar performance, Pioneer has consistently maintained a highly favorable status with industry regulators by exceeding minimum capital requirements in all three required categories; core and tangible capital at 6.7 percent and risk-based capital at 13.5 percent.
 Beyond the numbers, the policies and strategies of Pioneer's management were further substantiated by Bauer Financial Reports, the Florida-based private company that rates financial institutions. Last year, Pioneer was only one of two Orange County-based thrifts to be given a five-star "safest" rating by the firm.
 Bauer compiles its ratings based on a complex system that includes asset quality, reserves, repossessed assets, loan delinquencies and historical trends.
 "The progress Pioneer is making challenges our distinction as the smallest savings and loan in the state," noted Kate St. Clair, president and chief executive officer.
 "Actually, whether or not we lose the distinction is not important. What is significant is that the tremendous growth we have experienced is a reflection of consumer confidence in our business philosophy.
 "Pioneer is not a 'mega-bank' attempting to be all things to all people. We focus only on the business we do well -- provided an insured, safe repository for the savings dollars of our neighbors, and invest those dollars in residential real estate loans in our community.
 "We support the builders and developers of new homes as well as the resale market by offering financing for first-time home buyers and those who have earned their 'dream home.' We are also committed to assisting in the development and preservation of affordable housing in Orange County."
 Pioneer has experienced steady growth since its acquisition and recapitalization by the Spring Mountain Group in March 1990. Spring Mountain's principal subsidiary is the 32-office Spring Mountain Escrow Corp., based in Newport Beach, the largest privately held escrow company in the state.
 Pioneer Savings and Loan Association, F.S.L.A., is located at 1470 Jamboree Road, Newport Beach, CA 92660.
 -0- 2/25/92
 /CONTACT: Joe Anguiano or Sheri Lippus of the Roxburgh Agency, 714-556-4365, for Pioneer Savings and Loan Association/ CO: Pioneer Savings and Loan Association ST: California IN: FIN SU:


EH-AL -- LA012 -- 2203 02/25/92 09:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 25, 1992
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