In a stark illustration of the persistent weakness in the California banking market, two institutions that raised new capital through fights offerings in the past year are already back on the brink of extinction.

Guardian Bancorp, of Los Angeles, and UnionFed Financial Corp., of Brea, recently said they have hired merger and acquisition advisers to explore options anew, mere months after raising $19.7 million and $45 million, respectively, in fights offerings.

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