WILSHIRE BANCORP POSTS RECORD PROFITS IN THE FOURTH QUARTER AND 2006;
PROFITS UP 22% TO $33.9 MILLION FOR THE YEAR AND ASSETS SURPASS $2 BILLION
 
LOS ANGELES, CA - January 30, 2007 - Wilshire Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIBC), the holding company for Wilshire State Bank, today reported record profits in both the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2006. For the quarter ended December 31, 2006, net income increased 15% to $8.9 million, or $0.30 per diluted share, compared to $7.8 million, or $0.27 per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2005. For the full year, net income grew 22% to $33.9 million, or $1.16 per diluted share, compared to $27.8 million, or $0.96 per diluted share in 2005.
 
“We generated tremendous growth in 2006, both in our branch network and on our financial statements,” stated Soo Bong Min, President and CEO. “We opened a branch in Rancho Cucamonga and acquired two more in New York in May, and have since begun the process of acquiring another one in Fort Lee, New Jersey. During this expansion, we have grown annual profits 22%, added nearly $300 million in loans, and our assets surpassed the $2 billion mark.”
 
“The vast majority of our loan growth occurred in the first three quarters, with only a $50 million increase in the fourth quarter,” added Brian Cho, EVP and Chief Financial Officer. “With the national economy showing signs of slower growth, we are walking away from more lending opportunities, as fewer deals meet our stringent underwriting standards. I expect that loan growth will continue at a more moderate pace in 2007 as we continue to focus on the highest-quality borrowers. This strategy should help ensure that we maintain strong credit quality regardless of the economic cycle.”
 
New loan originations totaled $233 million in the fourth quarter of 2006, compared to $238 million in the same quarter of 2005. For the full year, new loan originations totaled $987 million, a 12% increase over $877 million in 2005. Net loans in the portfolio increased 23% to $1.54 billion at year-end 2006, compared to $1.25 billion a year earlier. Assets grew to $2.01 billion at the end of the 2006, up 21% from $1.67 billion at the end of the 2005.
 
“Asset quality improved somewhat during the fourth quarter, with a small decline in non-performing loans since the end of September,” Min said. “Although net charge offs increased, they were a manageable 0.06% of total loans in the quarter. As we slow down portfolio growth in 2007, I expect credit quality may improve moderately from year-end 2006. However, given the current economic conditions, it won’t be easy to return to year-end 2005 levels, when non-performing loans were probably unsustainably low.”
 
Non-performing loans (NPLs) were $6.8 million, 0.44% of gross loans at the end of 2006, compared to $7.1 million, or 0.47% of loans at the end of September 2006, and $2.5 million, or 0.20% of gross loans at year-end 2005. Non-performing assets (NPAs) were $7.1 million, or 0.35% of total assets at year-end, compared to $7.3 million, or 0.38% of assets at the end of the third quarter, and $2.8 million, or 0.17% of assets at the end of 2005.
 
Net charge offs were $950,000 in the fourth quarter and $1.8 million in 2006. The provision for loan losses was $940,000 in the fourth quarter and totaled $6.0 million for the year. At December 31, 2006, the allowance for loan losses was $18.7 million, representing 1.20% of gross loans and 263% of NPAs.
 
“In the fourth quarter, we enhanced the methodology for estimating the allowance for loan losses," Cho said. "We shortened our lookback period to a 5 year moving average, which better approximates the average life of the loans in our portfolio, and modified some of the qualitative adjustment factors after evaluating the current economic conditions. As a result of these changes, we reduced the allowance for loan losses by $1.5 million relative to the allowance our previous method would have necessitated. We believe our reserves are adequate given our underwriting standards and loss history, and our coverage ratios still exceed our peer group averages.”
 
(more)

The following information was filed by Wilshire Bancorp Inc (WIBC) on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.

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