Community Programs

Bank employee poses with class of smiling students

Community Programs that Support our Community Reinvestment Philosophy

Our programs are centered on 3 basic areas: acceptable quality of life, small business lending, and financial education.

East West Bank team at the Los Angeles HomeWalk

We are committed to making a positive difference in the communities where we operate. We aim to enhance the quality of life in the community by engaging in meaningful and effective programs that reduce homelessness, increase homeownership, preserve affordable housing, promote asset building, and enable more inclusive access to modern banking services. These ongoing commitments to improve the community allow us to stay true to our company heritage and founding philosophy of serving the underserved.

Partnership with United Way

Since 1996, we have been a proud partner with the United Way of Greater Los Angeles in various local community programs in support of the organization’s mission to create “Pathways out of Poverty.” Through our participation in annual events such as HomeWalk, we have helped in making a positive difference in reducing homelessness in Los Angeles County. The bank were recognized by the organization and awarded Model Campaign of the Year, Outstanding Leadership Award and Spirit of Los Angeles at its annual Philanthropy Awards events.

We are proud of the work that United Way of Greater Los Angeles performs for the local community and will continue to support their efforts to increase high school graduation rates, decrease homelessness, and ensure families have financial stability.

Asset Building

We partner with many organizations that consider local assets as the primary building blocks of sustainable community development. For example, our partnership with the South Bay Center for Counseling, Community & Economic Development (SBCC) is focused on strengthening the skills of local residents in low- and moderate-income areas through financial education, job training, coaching services and more. From providing tax preparation services and financial education workshops to helping the unbanked open their first checking account, we tailor our outreach efforts based on the asset-building opportunities of each community, thereby building and drawing upon existing community strengths to support stronger, more sustainable communities for the future. 

Bank On Program

Bank On is a region-specific collaborative effort between federal regulating agencies, state and local governments, financial institutions, and community-based organizations to bring unbanked and under-banked residents into the financial mainstream. As a participating institution, we provide low-cost checking account products, with a low minimum opening balance of $25, which provide viable and safe alternatives to check cashing services and in-store check cashing. Our participation in Bank On programs include the following regions: San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, Sacramento, Seattle-King County, Houston and Manhattan.

Preserving Affordable Housing

Since 1996, we have helped increase the supply of affordable housing by financing smaller construction projects of new housing units, specializing in projects deemed too small and not profitable enough by the larger banks. Through the use of tax credits and credit enhancements, we have financed over $1 billion of such projects to date, adding almost 20,000 new units of affordable housing, the majority of which are rented at controlled rents to those with low to moderate income.

In 2012 and 2013 alone, we provided $328 million in new financing, creating almost 3,700 new units of housing. As the need for more affordable housing continues, we will endeavor to continue being an active leader in this area.

Federal Home Loan Grant Program

As a member bank of the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of San Francisco, we assist this agency in facilitating its grant programs, which benefit non-profit community organizations and low- to moderate-income families and individuals. The grant programs facilitated at East West Bank include the Access to Housing and Economic Assistance for Development (AHEAD), a program for non-profit community organization partners; and the Workforce Initiative Subsidy for Homeownership (WISH), a program for first time homebuyers.

Homeownership Workshops

We regularly offer homeownership workshops throughout communities in our assessment areas to provide mortgage loan product 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.

Business lending from East West Bank backed by the Small Business Administration (SBA)

We provide SBA loans to help businesses qualify for financing more easily and receive more flexible terms. The SBA (7)a Term Loan and SBA 504 Term Loan programs are available.

Leading Lender to Small Business

As a SBA Preferred Lender, East West Bank was ranked 5 in the Los Angeles area for the fiscal year ending September 2017 with production of 105 numbers of SBA loans totaling $39,462,000.  Nationwide we are the top 45 SBA lender for the same period with a production of 230 numbers of SBA loans totaling $118,394,900.

Nationwide, our small business loans totaled about $465 million, with 36% attributable to LMI areas. In all, over 76% of our small business loans nationwide were made to minority borrowers. Some of our notable minority business clients include: Manuel’s El Tepayac Café, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, and Crustacean.

Learn More About SBA

Focus on International Trade

We provide a wide range of commercial banking services to businesses engaged in export and import trade, including international banking and trade financing. We focus on enabling small businesses in the U.S. to compete effectively in the global marketplace by providing technical support through seminars, individual consultations, and collaborations with other organizations. In addition, we are also an Ex-Im Bank approved lender, providing credit insurance to smaller businesses exporting to overseas markets. Unlike the larger banks who seek larger transaction deals, East West Bank is active in providing Ex-Im Bank support to the smaller transactions. 

Learn More About International Trade

Bank volunteers teach financial literacy to a classroom of young students

We believe strong and vibrant communities are the result of individuals empowered by the necessary financial knowledge to take meaningful action to better themselves, their business, and their communities. That is why we are committed to effective programs such as advancing early financial literacy in classrooms and helping families understand basic banking concepts and what resources are available to them and their communities. Working closely with our diverse network of community partners, we have launched several successful programs that focus on financial empowerment of the underserved.

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to educating students about workforce readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs. As part of this effort, our associates regularly volunteer to teach financial education classes at schools in low- and moderate-income communities to students ranging from kindergarten to 12th grade. We are proud of our continued partnership with Junior Achievement and the positive impact we are making on the youth in our assessment areas.

Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Los Angeles

Asian American Advancing Justice – Los Angeles (Advancing Justice – LA), formerly the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, is the nation’s largest legal and civil rights organization for Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (NHPI). Our partnership with Advancing Justice – LA supports their efforts in serving more than 15,000 individuals and organizations every year. Through direct services, impact litigation, policy advocacy, leadership development, and capacity building, Advancing Justice - LA focuses on the most vulnerable members of Asian American and NHPI communities. East West Bank is pleased to support their regular program funding and provide financial literacy education as part of their Youth and Parent Financial Literacy Program.

La Casa de San Gabriel Community Center

In partnership with La Casa de San Gabriel Community Center, a nonprofit organization serving the multi-cultural disadvantaged Hispanic and Native American community of the West San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles County, We provide basic financial training workshops to its clients. Conducted in Spanish, with English translators as needed, our six-part workshop explains our role in the community and how our banking services, resources and programs are designed to help people in supporting their financial needs and goals. Serving approximately 6,000 clients per year, La Casa works to help their disadvantaged neighbors overcome the barriers of limited education, underemployment, poverty, language, inadequate housing and lack of medical care.

Lakers Youth Foundation

The Los Angeles Lakers Youth Foundation is a non-profit organization with a focus on the use of sports to promote education, teamwork and self-esteem among Los Angeles area youth. Our fundraising directly supports the foundation’s initiatives. As part of the Lakers Net Investment Financial Literacy Program, we work with ten area Boys & Girls Clubs where we teach financial literacy classes to young adults using the FDIC’s Money Smart curriculum. Our partnership with the Lakers Youth Foundation and Boys & Girls Club opens the door for East West Bank to make a positive impact on hundreds of young people in our communities.

Operation Hope

We understand that the path to financial sustainability begins with a solid foundation of education and comprehension of managing personal finance. Our ongoing partnership with Operation Hope and support of the Banking On Our Future (BOOF) program, is another way we bring vital financial education to our schools. Many of our volunteers have worked with various schools in low- and moderate-income communities to provide financial literacy classes, which carry to the students a message of empowerment and responsibility. We are proud to play a part in supporting BOOF’s goal of elevating the dignity, hope, and economic self-sufficiency of people in low- and moderate-income communities through financial literacy education.

Los Angeles Urban League

We partnered with the Los Angeles Urban League to bring a student delegation from South Los Angeles' Crenshaw High School to China for a cultural, business and educational exchange. Providing 18 students with training in basic Chinese etiquette and language, East West Bank prepared the delegation to engage in a meaningful cultural exchange with their Chinese peers. This enriching experience helped the students gain firsthand insight into the U.S.-China relationship and understand the importance of setting academic and professional goals to help them succeed in a global economy.