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LA JOLLA, CA-ITLA Capital Corp., the largest locally based financial services company, has reported the highest level of quarterly earnings ever in the history of the 28-year-old firm.

Net income for first quarter 2003 (which is primarily resulting from the operations of ITLA’s wholly-owned subsidiaries Imperial Capital Bank and Imperial Capital Real Estate Investment Trust) jumped to $13 million or $2.02 per diluted share from $4.7 million or $.74 per diluted share in the same period last year. “These results are attributable to the successful execution of our tax refund anticipation loan program with Household International Inc. and our ability to sustain profits in our core business during uncertain economic and geopolitical conditions,” says President/CEO George W. Haligowski.

Substantially all loans originated during the quarter in connection with the tax refund anticipation loan program were sold to Household International. Fee income earned in connection with the RAL program consisted of $8.7 million of net premiums on the sale of RAL loans, as well as $3.6 million of processing and administrative fees.

Net interest income increased 51.6% in this year’s first quarter, rising to $25.1 million from $16.5 million in the first quarter of 2002. Company officials say the increase resulted from an improvement in net interest spread of Imperial Capital Bank, increased interest income from cash and investment securities as a result of increased liquidity in connection with the bank’s refund anticipation loan program with Household International, as well as other treasury activities, partially offset by a decline in the net interest income of the REIT. The net interest income of the REIT declined from last year due to the reduction in the average balance of its loan portfolio despite an improvement in net interest spread This occurred because the REIT’s liabilities are re-pricing to lower current market rates slightly faster than its assets.

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