Of the many small California banks that have struggled in recent years, one dramatic tumaround is Encino-based CU Bancorp. "We're trying to build a |fortress balance sheet' with solid capital, solid reserves, and high loan loss provisions," says CEO Stephen G. Carpenter.

CU, parent of California United Bank, last year returned minus 1.89% on assets and minus 26.06% on equity. This year, the assets returned 0.60% and the equity 7.5%

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