Phillip R. Boyce, one of Califonia's most colorful and controversial bankers, may be getting ready to throw in the towel.

The chairman and chief executive of Pacific Western Bancshares, San Jose, recently hired the investment banking firm Morgan Stanley & Co. to find a buyer for his bank sources said. The sources noted, however, that Mr. Boyce is testing the waters and that the sale of his bank is far from certain.

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