MUFG Union Bank, d.b.a. as UnionBank, is an American full-service bank with 398 branches in California, Washington, and Oregon which is wholly owned by U.S. Bancorp. The bank, formerly known as Union Bank of California, N.A., has operations in California, and Washington and also has commercial branches in Dallas, Houston, New York City, and Chicago, as well as two international offices. Headquartered in New York City,
MUFG Union Bank, N.A. was a subsidiary of Japanese holding company MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation and a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG) before being sold to U.S Bancorp in 2021.
As of December 31, 2014, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation had US$113.7 billion in assets and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group had total assets of approximately $2.3 trillion. Its foundation is built on five lineages; three originating in California and two in Japan.
History of MUFG Union Bank
In 1914, Kaspar Cohn founded Kaspare Cohn Commercial & Savings Bank in Los Angeles. It was renamed Union Bank & Trust Company of Los Angeles in 1918. Harry Volk was recruited from Prudential Insurance Company as the bank’s new CEO in 1957 and pioneered the use of the one-bank holding company, among other banking innovations. Volk retired in 1980 after the purchase of the bank by London-based Standard Chartered Bank in 1979.
MUFG Bank, Ltd
Meanwhile, the Bank of Tokyo established the Bank of Tokyo California in 1953 in San Francisco. In 1975, Bank of Tokyo California purchased San Diego’s Southern California First National Bank, shortening its name to California First. Four years later Bank of Tokyo California, via California First, took over Union Bank and adopted its name.
In May 1996, Mitsubishi Bank and the Bank of Tokyo merged in Japan. In San Francisco, the Bank of California and Union Bank consolidated into UnionBanCal Corporation, a bank holding company, and its primary subsidiary Union Bank of California, N.A. With the merger, Union Bank could now trace its history back to the founding of the Bank of California 132 years before. In 1999, UnionBanCal Corporation became a publicly-traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: UB).
On October 19, 2004, the Federal Reserve Board announced that Union Bank had entered into a written agreement to avoid criminal prosecution for money laundering. Three years later, Union Bank was again accused of money laundering and in September 2007, the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department announced that Union Bank had agreed to pay $31.6 million in penalties and forfeitures to settle government claims that it had been implicated in an elaborate drug money laundering scheme involving Mexican exchange houses known as Casas de Cambio.
In August 2008, Mitsubishi UFJ offered to buy the 35 percent of Union Bank it did not already own, which Union Bank accepted. On November 4, 2008, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), announced that BTMU had successfully acquired all of the outstanding shares of UnionBanCal Corporation.
In 2014, MUFG integrated the U.S. operations of its subsidiary The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) with those of San Francisco–based Union Bank, N.A.
In April 2018, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) was renamed to MUFG Bank, Ltd.
In September 2021, it was announced that U.S. Bancorp has agreed to purchase MUFG Union Bank for about $8 billion.
Acquisitions and their founding dates
- 1864 The Bank of California
- 1883 First National Bank
- 1905 The London and San Francisco Bank
- 1918 The Bank of Personal Service
- 1952 The Bank of Tokyo of California
- 1957 Occidental Savings & Commercial Bank (North Hollywood)
- 1958 Union Bank
- 1967 Southern California First National Bank
- 1972 Mitsubishi Bank of California
- 1975 California First Bank
- 1988 BankCal – The Bank of California
In 2009, Union Bank opened a branch in Texas, with plans to expand.
On April 30, 2010, Union Bank, N.A., acquired certain assets and assumed certain liabilities of Everett, Washington-based Frontier Bank in a purchase and assumption agreement with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Twelve officers and corporate directors of Frontier Bank are facing a $46 million damage lawsuit filed by the FDIC.
Also in April, Union Bank acquired the assets of Tamalpais Bank in Marin County, including seven branches. Federal regulators sold Tamalpais’ assets to Union Bank, which rebranded all the acquired branches.
In 2012, Union Bank announced its acquisition of Pacific Capital Bancorp, which operated under the name Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, for $1.5 billion.
In 2013, Union Bank completed the acquisition of First Bank Association Bank Services, which provides a full range of banking services to homeowners associations and community management companies. The acquisition brought to Union Bank approximately $550 million in deposits.
In 2021, U.S. Bancorp announced that it has agreed to buy MUFG Union Bank’s core retail banking operations for approximately $8 billion in cash and stock.
PurePoint Financial: Savings Only Division
PurePoint Financial, the savings-only division of MUFG Union Bank, offers high-interest rates on savings accounts and certificates of deposit.
Community Reinvestment Act
Union Bank’s board of directors approves the bank’s Community Service Action Plan (CSAP), which is used to ensure the bank’s compliance with Community Reinvestment Act requirements. The CSAP targets seven key areas for support and services: affordable housing, banking services, community outreach, corporate contributions, low-income consumer loans, small business loans and assistance, and supplier diversity.