Andrew Edwards, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/01/2012 06:03:33 AM PST

ONTARIO – CVB Financial Corp., the parent company of Citizens Business Bank, ended 2011 on positive notes, appearing to have recovered from much of the tumult that hit the Inland Empire’s largest locally based financial institution the previous year.

As of the final day of trading in 2011, the Ontario-based company’s stock price has largely recovered from a mini-collapse that happened in summer 2010. CVB Financial also reported record profits – $22.4 million – for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The bank also announced its 89th consecutive dividend – 8.5 cents per share – on Dec. 21, and reported having $6.53 billion in assets during its last quarterly filing.

CVB Financial’s apparent good fortunes happened not only at a time when the Inland Empire and national economies remain weak, but after news of a federal subpoena and the filing of investors’ lawsuits against the bank. Those cases are still pending in federal and West Valley Superior Court.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which filed the subpoena last year, refused to comment as a matter of policy. CVB Financial CEO Christopher Myers did not return phone calls placed during the past two weeks seeking comment.

Analysts who study CVB Financial, however, praised the banking company for maintaining a conservative lending strategy and resolving the issues at the heart of the lawsuits.

For example, the bank in March sold $41 million worth of nonperforming loans owed by the bank’s largest borrower, identified in court papers as Garrett Group, LLC a Temecula development company.

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