Corp., said that about 30 companies have expressed interest in buying the $3.3 billion-asset thrift and several have completed due diligence.

Mr. Mason, speaking with investors at a banking conference Thursday in Washington, D.C., said the Los Angeles-based company is working hard to find a buyer. Bank Plus, which operates 36 branches in Southern California, has been under shareholder pressure to sell since last fall.

"The board of directors is focused on completing the sale as soon as possible," said Mr. Mason, who added that he personally has a "strong incentive" to sell Bank Plus -- he could exercise his 580,000 options if it is sold.

However, Mr. Mason said one obstacle is the thrift's troubled subprime credit card portfolio, which has a balance of $262.6 million. He said the company, including the credit card portfolio, is worth around $9 per share. Bank Plus' shares were trading at $3.8125 at midmorning Friday, down 4.69%.

--Matt Andrejczak

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