Little Saigon’s First Vietnamese American Bank, which opened five years ago in Orange County, Calif. as the first U.S. bank with a core clientele of Vietnamese immigrants, was recently shut down by regulators, reported the OC Weekly. First Vietnamese American opened in 2005 as a new twist on the Asian American banks that had thrived in Southern California’s ethnic Chinese and Korean communities. But the bank struggled almost from the start, receiving a string of regulatory enforcement orders beginning in 2006. Rival, Saigon National Bank, which opened in OC’s Little Saigon in November 2005, has had problems of its own, having repeatedly missed dividend payments to the U.S. Treasury from bailout funds. The seizure of First Vietnamese American brought the number of failed banks nationwide this year to 143, the most since the recession year of 1992.

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