The Bank Slate


RBB CEO takes leave as company conducts probe

RBB Bancorp in Los Angeles is conducting a probe tied to its longtime president and CEO. 

The $4.2 billion-asset company said in a press release Tuesday that Alan Thian had taken a leave of absence, effective immediately, pending an internal investigation being conducted by a special committee of its board. 

The company did not disclose the members of the committee or what the group will investigate.

RBB said the board had appointed David Morris, its chief financial officer, to serve as interim president and CEO. Morris will continue in his role as CFO.

Thian has been Royal Business Bank’s CEO since its formation in November 2008. He took the same role at the holding company when it was created three years later.

“We do not anticipate a long investigation, but nevertheless we remain sidelined in our rating until there is more clarity in the company’s leadership,” Ben Gerlinger, an analyst at Hovde Group, wrote in a note to clients. 

Thian’s leave of absence is the second time in a week that an RBB executive has stepped away from a post. A week earlier, the company disclosed that Tammy Song, its chief lending officer, had resigned.

“Both announcements are clear negatives for RBB,” Nicholas Cucharale, an analyst at Piper Sandler, wrote in his client note. 

“With limited information, it is difficult to discern the degree of downside or the nature of the issue,” Cucharale added. “Given the absence of a time frame for resolution, we anticipate an overhang on the shares until incremental information is disclosed.”

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