WASHINGTON — The Office of Thrift Supervision has ordered Riverside, Calif.-based Life Bank to either raise sufficient capital by June 30 or find a merger partner by Sept 30.

The prompt-corrective-action directive, dated March 23 and released Wednesday, was issued because Life Bank failed to submit a capital restoration plan to the OTS after regulators notified the $355 million-asset thrift last October that it was undercapitalized.

The OTS defines sufficiency as risk-based capital of 8%, tier 1 risk-based capital of 4%, and a leverage ratio of 4%. In its first-quarter earnings statement, Life Financial Corp., the thrift’s parent company, reported risked base capital of 7.16%.

Steven R. Gardner, the thrift’s president and chief executive officer, said that management is working closely with investment bankers and exploring all of capital-raising options.

Under the order, the thrift must also restrict its rates on deposits to the rates comparable to those at other institutions in the region. In addition Life Bank is restricted from selling or acquiring assets, expanding, making further investments, or changing its accounting practices.

The regulator’s order will remain in effect indefinitely, and during this time the thrift must submit progress reports and notices of its efforts to obtain capital.

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