PBB Bancorp in Los Angeles and First Mountain Bank in Big Bear Lake, Calif., are discussing a merger.

The $239 million-asset PBB and the $146 million-asset First Mountain said in a press release late Thursday that "advanced" discussions should lead to a formal announcement by mid-June.

"We are pleased with the progress of the merger process and the opportunity to combine with" PBB, Vince Smith, First Mountain's chairman, said in the release. "We believe they share our long standing commitment to serve our customers and support our communities. The directors have spent a lot of time with [PBB] directors and officers getting to know them and their desire to be part of our mountain community."

"I believe that completion of our merger will provide First Mountain Bank more services to offer to its customers, more support for its community and more opportunities for its employees," John Polen, PBB's president and chief executive, said in the release. "Preserving First Mountain Bank's local identity, local decision making and fine customer base is our number one priority."

First Mountain agreed last year to sell itself to First National Bank of Southern California in Riverside, but the deal was terminated in July after the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said it would not approve the deal under the terms and conditions of the merger agreement. The companies said at that time that modifications required by the OCC would not have provided the proper amount of benefit to First Mountain's shareholders.

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