Guardian Bancorp, Los Angeles, let go of its founding president and vice chairman last week, their jobs becoming the latest victims of Southern California's community bank crunch.

Paul M. Harris, chairman Guardian Bancorp and its $750 million-asset Guardian Bank, said the firings of the top personnel boiled down to a change in direction for the company and its need to cut overhead. "The bottom line is that we have too much in salaries," Mr. Harris said. "We're dramatically trimming overhead. I've cut my own salary 50%."

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