Union Bank Celebrates 150 Years of Service and Stewardship
Union Bank employees and honored guests celebrate the company's 150th anniversary
in its historic Banking Hall in San Francisco, California, on April 24, 2014.
Since the founding of Union Bank, N.A.*, a subsidiary of BTMU, 150 years ago in San Francisco, California, the bank has been built on a firm foundation of prudent lending, sound financial management, committed social responsibility, and strong community involvement. With offices in seven states in the United States and two international offices, Union Bank and its more than 13,000 employees strive to meet the needs of its customers by offering financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. In July 2013, American Banker Magazine and the Reputation Institute ranked Union Bank #1 for reputation among customers out of the top 30 largest banks in the United States.
Earlier this year, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. (MUFG), announced that on July 1, 2014, to position for growth, it will integrate BTMU U.S. branch banking operations with Union Bank and operate the combined U.S. banking operations under the new name MUFG Union Bank, N.A.
Commemorating 150 Years
On April 24, 2014, Union Bank commemorated its 150th anniversary with a celebration at its historic main branch, attended by Union Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Masashi Oka, who also serves as CEO for the Americas of BTMU, and Chairman of BTMU Katsunori Nagayasu. Special guest Charles Fracchia, Founder and President Emeritus of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, provided a historical perspective on San Francisco and banking 150 years ago.
Union Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Masashi Oka, who also serves as CEO for the Americas of BTMU,
honors the history of Union Bank and the employees who have shaped its success over the years
in his speech at the 150th anniversary event.
Developing San Francisco and the American West
The company was founded as The Bank of California on July 5, 1864, by financier William Chapman Ralston and was the West's first incorporated commercial bank. Ralston leveraged the institution's capital to fund key infrastructure in the West, including the Transcontinental Railway, the first irrigation systems in the San Joaquin Valley, Hunters Point shipyard, and San Francisco's cable cars, as well as the mining industry. The bank served as a key player in the region's tremendous growth during the latter portion of the 19th century and the early 20th century.
Union Bank's historic flagship branch in downtown San Francisco, California in the 1930s.
Community Commitment Continues Today
Union Bank continues to uphold its legacy of service. At the anniversary event, the bank provided a donation to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society. Union Bank supports the community through employee volunteerism as well as charitable contributions through the Union Bank Foundation. In 2013, the bank's charitable investment in local communities totaled $13 million, which included grants, contributions, and sponsorships to help finance the efforts of nonprofit organizations within the bank's geography. The bank's investments focus on four areas: affordable housing, community economic development, education, and the environment.
“Union Bank has believed in the power of responsible banking to build communities since the day of its founding, an ideal that's never faded in a century and a half,” said Oka. “We're proud of our part in nourishing the heritage of the West Coast, and we look forward to continuing to help our customers and communities in the West and across the United States flourish for another 150 years.”
* Union Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
May 19, 2014