WASHINGTON - Continental Savings of America, San Francisco, failed Friday; it was the first thrift casualty of 1995.

California Federal Bank, Los Angeles, beat out 12 other bidders for Continental, picking up $359.4 million of the failed thrift's insured deposits but just $34 million of its assets. CalFed reopened all six of Continental's branches Monday.

The Resolution Trust Corp. was stuck with $354 million of troubled assets; the agency said Continental would cost the government about $44 million.

The thrift's failure was caused by a combination of lax underwriting, poor asset management, and the decline of California's real estate market.

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