Westlake-based RBB Bancorp announced its entry into the San Francisco Bay Area Dec. 28 with the purchase of Gateway Bank F.S.B. in Oakland, a deal valued at approximately $22.9 million.

Gateway Bank’s assets totaled approximately $172 million, according to a company statement, with total gross loans of $123 million, total deposits of $148 million and total equity of $15.5 million as of Sept. 30.

As of the same date, RBB Bancorp held total assets of approximately $3.8 billion. The company owns Royal Business Bank, a full-service commercial bank that primarily offers banking services to Asian American communities in Los Angeles, Orange and Ventura counties; it also has locations in Nevada, New York, New Jersey and elsewhere. In September, the company reported a record net income of $15.4 million for its third quarter.

Alan Thian, RBB Bancorp president and chief executive, said in a Dec. 28 statement that Gateway Bank’s locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, which have also principally serviced Asian American communities, aligned well with the company’s mission.

“Expansion into the Bay Area, with one of the largest Asian American communities in the United States, has long been a goal of ours,” he said. “We are excited to enter this market and bring our relationship-based banking model to the Bay Area.”
James Kao, chairman of RBB Bancorp, said Gateway Bank “provides a profitable base” for the company’s continued growth in Northern California. He noted that with the acquisition, Royal Business Bank now has a physical presence in six of its nine target markets.

On a conference call with analysts in April, David Morris, RBB executive vice president and chief financial officer, expressed interest in mergers and acquisitions in the Bay Area, in addition to other key targets in Texas and Seattle. He said at the time that the bank was interested in acquiring banks with assets in the $400 million to $500 million range.

The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to RBB Bancorp obtaining regulatory approvals and meeting all closing conditions, according to the company. 

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