The need for affordable housing has a lasting impact on our families within our community. We’re committed to supporting proven programs and partners that reduce homelessness, preserve affordable housing and increase homeownership.
We identify and support partners that make a difference. In addition to funding down payment matching programs like the Federal Home Loan Bank’s WISH First-Time Homebuyer program, our associates participate in annual home builds with Habit for Humanity. We also work with Affordable Housing Clearinghouse to provide vulnerable households with foreclosure prevention and financial counseling services.
Since 1996, we’ve partnered with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles on their mission to create “Pathways out of Poverty.” We’re proud to participate in events like WalkUnitedLA (formerly HomeWalk), an annual event to end homelessness in LA County, and will continue to support their efforts to increase high school graduation rates and ensure financial stability.
We run homeownership workshops throughout our communities to provide mortgage education to low- and moderate-income individuals. Geared to the needs of first-time homebuyers, our workshops cover everything from the application and loan qualification process to selecting a loan with fair and affordable terms for sustained homeownership.
We provide free tax preparation services to low-income families and individuals through organizations like Mission Economic Development Agency (MEDA), BakerRipley and the Chinese Newcomers Service Center. The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program ensures families receive the maximum possible tax return.
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities. When they succeed, we all succeed. Nationwide, our small business loans totaled over $900 million in 2021, with 58% in low- and moderate-income areas. Of the loans made in low- and moderate- income areas, 73% were microloans ($5K or below) made to women and immigrant entrepreneurs.
As a Small Business Administration (SBA) Preferred Lender, we help businesses qualify for financing more easily and receive more flexible terms. We rank #8 in total SBA loans for lender incorporated in Los Angeles County as of August 31, 2022. Over 86% of our SBA loans nationwide were made to minority borrowers.
We play an active role in supporting U.S. small businesses engaged in export and import trade through international banking and trade financing. We focus on enabling them to compete effectively in the global marketplace.
In partnership with Grameen America, we’re proud to fund thousands of microloans for small businesses owned by women, most of them minorities, Hispanic or African American. We’ve also held a dual-language workshops for Grameen America’s members to teach them how to start and market their business.
As a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, we administer the Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD) Program, which provides early-stage funding for projects that benefit low-to-moderate income communities. Projects funded included Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center’s initiative to grow Black-owned businesses in the Bay Area.
Financial knowledge is economic power—the more people understand, the more they can make decisions to better themselves, their business, and their communities. We focus on early financial literacy in classrooms and helping underserved families understand what resources are available to help them take the next step.
Through Operation Hope and Junior Achievement, our associates provide financial literacy classes in low- and moderate-income communities to deliver a message of empowerment and responsibility. Through in-person and virtual classes, associates mentor and guide students as they navigate their financial journey.
Financial literacy goes beyond basic budgeting and savings. Through partnerships with groups like Virtual Enterprises International, we’re able to give students practical business experiences that prepare them for fulfilling, financially-secure futures. Many of the schools served are Title I and have free or reduced-lunch programs for students in need.
East West Bank is the largest minority‐operated bank in the United States, serving communities with diverse ethnicities and economic backgrounds. That comes with a responsibility to promote diversity and inclusion through our operations and services, our community programs and the career advancement of our associates.
We have a long-standing commitment to diversity in our organization, as evidenced by our Board of Directors. Eight of our 10 directors are members of diverse communities. Three of our 10 directors are women, seven directors are racial or ethnic minorities, and one director is from the LGBTQ+ community.
We’ve long provided a greater sense of belonging and prosperity for AAPI communities. In 2021, we pledged $25 million to the AAPI Giving Challenge in support of AAPI inclusion, equality and justice. The Challenge was created by The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), a nonprofit that promotes AAPI advocacy, power and representation.
Through the Greenlining Institute and their People of Color Small Business Network, we provide business coaching and financial resources to minority- and immigrant-owned small businesses. In addition, we support the California Reinvestment Coalition Resilience Fund, which promotes Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) small business owners, microentrepreneurs and families in the short term, while building the capacity of Black- and Brown-led nonprofit organizations in the long term.
During the pandemic, we led Voto Latino’s Immigrant Neighbor Fund, which provided direct financial support to immigrant families excluded from receiving COVID-19 relief funds. The CARES Act excluded certain essential workers who held the economy together through their work in service industries, healthcare and agriculture.