SAN FRANCISCO -- Sanwa Bank Ltd. has named longtime company veteran Hiroya Nobuhara as president and chief executive of its California subsidiary.

He succeeds Isao Matsuura, Sanwa Bank California's CEO the last two years, who will become general manager of the bank's New York branch.

This is the first U.S. assignment for the 53-year-old Mr. Nobuhara, who joined Sanwa in 1965 after graduating from Tokyo University. Most recently, he headed Sanwa's corporate banking department, managing its major commercial accounts.

Profits Depressed

With more than 100 branches and $7.4 billion in assets, Sanwa California is the state's sixth-largest bank and third-ranking Japanese-controlled institution.

The bank's profits have been depressed by high overhead and an inefficient branch structure. In 1993, it earned $20.2 million and posted a 0.28% return on assets.

Under Mr. Matsuura, Sanwa California went through a cost-cutting program and reorganization after its rapid growth in the 1980s. Mr. Matsuura's goal was to achieve a 1.00% return on assets by 1995.

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