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Finance and Thrift Company Completes Merger With Pan American Bank, Following Receipt of All Regulatory Approvals

PORTERVILLE, Calif. and LOS ANGELES, Aug. 4, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Finance and Thrift Company (F&T) and Pan American Bank (OTCQB:PAMB) today announced the completion of the previously announced transaction to merge in an all-stock transaction, resulting in a stronger Pan American Bank with total assets of $155.2 million and total capital of $36.9 million.

Effective today, the combined entity is operating under the Pan American name, with shares traded in the OTCQB Market under the symbol PAMB. The headquarters of the merged institution is in Los Angeles.

"The completion of this transaction marks the beginning of a new era that will provide our existing and prospective customers with expanded service offerings and greater geographic reach," said Robert Hughes, chief executive officer of the combined organization. "The new Pan American Bank reflects our continued commitment to building value for our shareholders and to expanding our services – both in product offerings and locations – for our customers, while at the same time fulfilling our mission as a Minority Depository Institution and Community Development Financial Institution."

Mona A. Banuelos, a long-time Pan American board member and daughter of the bank's founder, said, "I look forward to the new chapter in the bank's history, furthering our commitment of serving the growing needs of our vibrant community."

F&T was founded by a group of ranchers and farmers in 1925 to make loans to their workers and to serve the Central Valley of California, which is one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. Pan American Bank was established in 1964 to serve under-represented and under-served consumers and small businesses of East Los Angeles, and was founded by Romana Acosta Bañuelos, the first Mexican American Treasurer of the United States.

F&T was advised in the transaction by the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP as its legal counsel and MJ Capital Partners, LLC as its financial advisor. Pan American Bank was advised by the law firm of Horgan, Rosen, Beckham & Coren, LLP and Jefferies, LLC as its financial advisor.

About the new Pan American Bank

Pan American Bank, which maintains a fully-bilingual staff (Spanish/English), operates six branch offices—five in Central California, in Porterville, Bakersfield, Visalia, Fresno and Modesto—plus a branch office in Los Angeles, with plans to open a second Southern California branch in the fall of 2015. The bank offers a wide range of financial services for consumers and small businesses, including prime and near-prime, small-balance personal and auto loans and small-business/commercial loans, along with savings and money market accounts and certificates of deposits. For more information, visit www.panambk.com.

Forward-looking statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "Safe-Harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements, including, but not limited to, the merger resulting in enhancing long-term shareholder value and opening a Southern California branch in the fall of 2015, are subject to risk and uncertainty. Actual results could differ materially due to various factors. Undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements, and the companies undertake no obligation to update any such statements to reflect circumstances or events that occur after the date on which the forward-looking statements are made.

CONTACT: For more information, contact: Roger Pondel/George Medici PondelWilkinson Inc. 310-279-5980 investor@pondel.comSource:Pan American Bank