Coronado First Bank in California said Tom Stickel, its founder and former chairman, resigned from its board because of a disagreement over whether it should open a branch in downtown San Diego.

"Tom felt strongly that the economic and banking climates make this the wrong time to open downtown," Bill Huck, the $72 million-asset bank's chairman, said in a press release issued Monday. "He preferred for the bank to remain in Coronado for now. However, the majority of the board felt that the present uncertainties will make a strong, local bank an even more attractive option for people who may be anxious about certain large, out-of-town financial institutions that seem to confront new challenges every day."

Stickel was Coronado First's chairman from its founding in 2005 until late last year.

His resignation from the board and the plan to open the downtown branch were announced last week. At that time no reason was given for the resignation.

The branch, which would be the bank's second, is scheduled to open by July 1.

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