First Foundation Bank

Overview / Commentary
18101 Von Karman Ave, 7th Floor
Irvine, CA 92612

First Foundation Bank is headquartered in Irvine and is the 19th largest bank in the state of California. It is also the 199th largest bank in the nation. It was established in 2007 and as of December of 2020, it had grown to 446 employees at 21 locations. First Foundation Bank's savings rates are 15% higher than the national average, and it has an A health rating.

Related Posts

Rate Drop - First Foundation Online Savings - 0.75% To 0.60% - 1/8/2021

A reader forwarded an email that he received from First Foundation that communicated the disappointing news: "We’re writing to let you know the interest rate on our Online Savings account is changing. Starting January 8, our Online Savings account will earn 0.60% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). At 12x the national savings average, you’re still earning more than with these other popular options."

First Foundation @ 0.75% APY - 10/20/2020

"We’re writing to let you know the interest rate on our Online Savings account is changing. Starting October 20, our Online Savings account will earn 0.75% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). At 15x the national savings average, you’re still earning more than with these other popular options..."

Rate Drop To 0.75% 10/20/20 - 10/20/2020

Website already shows the lower rate. This move places First Foundation in the middle of the pack of sub 1% accounts instead of a rate leader.

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Friendly & Helpful Customer Service

I opened a savings account here for the 2.00% instead of the 0.05% offered by my previous bank. I called customer service to have them walk me through opening the account and the person I spoke to was really nice and helpful. I had a particularly positive experience this week and wanted to share. Excited to actually earn something on my savings.

A Fine Bank

First Foundation has the Integrity other banks do not. Other banks offer attractive rates for new money and at the first sign of lower market rates drop the yield. Customers Bank comes to mind. They were offering 2.40% and dropped it to 1.95% after getting the new depositors aboard. FF feels an obligation to the new money depositors to maintain the 2.40%. I like that a lot. I closed Customers, Vio, Popular, Western, Salem5, Webank, EastBoston, United, My Savings, IGO, Ally and others that suck in new money and drop the trap door on rates.
You'll like this bank.

Cumbersome To Do Business

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I opened an online savings account because they offer a competitive rate and have a physical branch in case I need it. The application process is lengthy which should have been a red flag but i thought they were just being conservative for my security.
First unpleasant surprise - $5k/day limit on online check deposit, $10k/day on online ACH deposit transfers. I wanted to deposit $50k, so this would require multiple transactions, multiple days!
2nd surprise - scheduled future transfers do not appear on my account's scheduled transfers page! Good thing I've not deleted the confirmation emails for 2 of them. The others, now I just have to rely on my memory. Oh and there's no menu for canceling or changing transfer date once it's scheduled.
I haven't tried to withdraw funds -
3rd, I wanted to open another account and thought there would be a streamlined process since they've already verified my identity and have my drivers license on file. But no, I would have to go through the same lengthy and cumbersome new account opening process. So I decided not to open one and just keep my funds elsewhere.
One good thing, their email responses are very quick albeit no solution to problems.
Thinking of closing my account now. Their higher rates not worth the hassle of doing business with them.

Slow And Poor Customer Service, Likes To Deny Applications

Applied for an online savings account due to its higher rate after other banks dropped their rate, but Didn't hear back after seven business days, and when I inquired on my application, they sent me a canned response that they can't identify me, and I should re-apply with social security card or passport.

The thing is, their application form accepts state driver licenses and didn't mention this, and last time we applied, we send photos of our passports as well. Apparently if they're busy or don't want to accept new accounts, no forms of ID is good enough for this bank.



Health Grade Components

FDIC Certificate #58647
Year Established2007
Primary RegulatorFDIC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD1.27%
Return on Equity - YTD13.05%
Annual Interest Income$252.0MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$6.94B$6.30B
LoansQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$5.29B$5.03B
DepositsQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$5.92B$4.91B
Equity CapitalQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$697.6MM$611.0MM
Loan Loss AllowanceQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$24.2MM$20.8MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$20.9MM$13.3MM
Real Estate OwnedQ4 2020vs Q4 2019$0$0
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* The APY shown varies based on the deposit amount. Expand the listing to see APYs for other deposit amounts.

First Foundation Bank Savings Account Rates

0.60%*-$5mOnline Savings Account - New Money Only
OTHER TIERS: 0.35% $5m+


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