CARDINAL FEDERAL SAVINGS BANK, a major savings and loan in Cleveland, was organized in 1974 by a merger of WEST SIDE FEDERAL SAVINGS AND LOAN ASSN., one of the oldest savings and loans in the city, and Second Federal Savings & Loan Assn., founded in 1934. Cardinal Federal Savings & Loan Assn., located in the Second Federal offices at 333 Euclid Ave. began with 19 offices and assets of nearly $500 million. By 1 July 1983, it had 25 branch offices and $1.28 billion in assets. In 1984 it became the Cardinal Federal Savings Bank, reflecting the wider range of services it offered. It also sold its Euclid Ave. headquarters bldg. to Standard Oil of Ohio and moved to the 4th floor of the May Co. bldg. at 150 Euclid Ave.
Although Cardinal had more than $1.6 billion in assets and earnings of $3.6 million in 1986, it also was closing out-of-state offices and cutting staff as it searched for new capital. The following year, delinquent out-of-state commercial loans caused more financial problems and by Sept. 1988, the bank's liabilities exceeded its assets by approx. $128 million. At the end of the year, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corp. arranged for the FIRST NATIONWIDE BANK of San Francisco to take over Cardinal Federal and its 26 branch offices.