Press Release


TASI Bank expands into Southern California

September 27, 2022
By Mark Calvey - Senior Reporter, San Francisco Business Times

Dave Joves

Dave Joves, president of Tasi Bank, sees Southern California
as an area of growth for the San Francisco bank.

Tasi Bank said Monday that it has expanded operations into Southern California, with plans to eventually have a physical presence there.
The bank is expanding into Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego with the relocation of Jesus H. Leon Guerrero, who is a member of the bank’s founding family. He joined the bank in 2012 after working in the trading department of Fisher Investments. Tasi Bank President Dave Joves joined the bank in 2011.

“I’ve found the markets similar to the Bay Area and potential customers are very interested in learning our unique story and what we can provide them,” said Leon Guerrero, who is vice president and relationship manager, overseeing Southern California.

Jesus H. Leon Guerrero

Jesus H. Leon Guerrero, vice president and relationship
manager, overseeing Southern California for Tasi Bank.

Tasi Bank, a division of Bank of Guam (OTC: BKGM), is based in San Francisco, where it operates its sole branch in the Financial District. The $450 million bank established its San Francisco office in 1982 to be geographically closer to its banking regulators. Last year, Tasi Bank changed its name from Bank of Guam for its U.S. operation as it embarked on an expansion program.

“We are confident that we can duplicate our San Francisco model with a conservative approach," said Joves, who declined to publicly discuss a timeline for the bank’s expansion plans. But he told me that establishing a loan production office in Southern California would be an important step in the bank’s Southern California expansion effort, with plans to ultimately operate a full-service branch in the market. Technology and online banking services make it easier to begin a geographic expansion without relying on physical branches.

“We will grow into brick-and-mortar, but first we need to get some scale,” Joves said. “Jesus is our lone ranger in Southern California, but we’re always in the hunt for talented teammates.”

Tasi Bank sees San Diego, where Leon Guerrero is based, as a particularly good fit, given that both that city and Guam have strong economic ties to tourism and federal contracts, especially involving the Defense Department. In its Southern California expansion, the bank is placing a priority on investors in multifamily properties and commercial real estate along with hotel operators and manufacturers, among others.

Tasi Bank is expanding into Southern California at a time when small and mid-sized businesses and real estate investors may be open to hearing from another bank as the economy appears to be slowing down rapidly, which could lead to some banks pulling in the reins on lending. Tasi Bank says its status as a Minority Depository Institution and an SBA Preferred Lender gives it greater flexibility and expertise in working with customers who may have been turned down elsewhere. But Tasi Bank is quick to say that it won't sacrifice credit standards for the sake of growth.

“We can grow at a steady pace without pressure,” Joves said. “As a fairly conservative underwriter, we feel very comfortable with our plan.”

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