Pacific Business Bank, flush with capital and some assertive new owners, plans to expand its presence south of Los Angeles with its purchase of Santa Fe National Bank in Norwalk.

Though the deal will bring the Carson-based bank to only $70 million of assets, the bank's capital base makes further expansion likely. The group of Chinese-Americans that bought the bank in January with the help of Taiwanese investors has since pumped in $7 million in new capital - for a total of $10.7 million. The new money, bank executives said, brings Pacific Business' equity to assets ratio to 15% - one of the strongest at a U.S. community bank.

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