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GREAT WESTERN ACQUIRES AMERIFIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK

 GREAT WESTERN ACQUIRES AMERIFIRST FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK
 BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., March 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Great Western Bank today announced it has acquired the 53 branches of AmeriFirst Federal Savings Bank based in Miami, from the federal Resolution Trust Corporation.
 The transaction includes approximately $1.8 billion in retail deposits for which Great Western bid a premium of $27.5 million, or an estimated 1.53 percent of total deposits.
 The AmeriFirst acquisition increases Great Western's presence significantly in South Florida, particularly in Dade and Broward counties. It is the company's second largest RTC acquisition.
 "This acquisition strengthens Great Western's position in one of the most desirable retail banking markets in the nation," said James F. Montgomery, chairman and chief executive of Great Western Financial Corporation. "The addition of AmeriFirst branches and deposits to our existing retail banking network improves our South Florida branch concentration, allowing us to achieve further economies of scale and efficiencies," added Mr. Montgomery.
 With the AmeriFirst acquisition, Great Western doubles its Dade County branch network and becomes that county's third largest financial institution measured by deposits. AmeriFirst branches are also located in Broward, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota, Lee, Collier, Hillsborough and Monroe counties.
 The AmeriFirst acquisition is another step in Great Western's strategy to increase its presence in key Florida markets. Since June, 1990, Great Western has acquired the branches of seven Florida institutions with $8.2 billion in retail deposits.
 Great Western Bank's Florida retail deposit base now totals $9.2 billion. Great Western operates 196 retail banking branches, 25 consumer finance offices and 16 residential real estate lending offices in Florida.
 All branches will be open Monday, March 23. AmeriFirst branches will be closed Saturday, March 21.
 With assets of $39 billion, Great Western Financial Corporation, is a diversified nationwide financial services company with more than 1,000 mortgage lending, retail banking and consumer finance offices nationwide. The company's principal line of business is a home-mortgage-oriented consumer bank that operates banking branch networks in California, Florida and Washington.
 -0- 3/20/92
 /NOTE: Great Western will conduct a teleconference for reporters beginning at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. Reporters may join the teleconference by dialing 1-800-857-9660 and giving the codeword "bank." Ron Finch, senior vice president, who heads the Florida banking operations, will be available to answer questions. A press conference will also be held beginning at 5:30 p.m., Eastern Standard Time, AmeriFirst Tower, 1 S.E. Third Avenue, Miami, 16th floor.
 For assistance in joining the teleconference, contact the Great Western Corporate Communications Department. Names and phone numbers are at the bottom of the release.
 /CONTACT: Gordon Turner, 305-577-6305; or Kevin Hawkins, 800-523-4888; or Linda Mueller, 213-852-3653, all of Great Western Bank/ CO: Great Western Bank ST: California IN: FIN SU: TNM


CH -- LA009 -- 0222 03/20/92 16:32 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 20, 1992
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