First Foundation Bank

Overview / Commentary
18101 Von Karman Ave
Irvine, CA 92612

First Foundation Bank is headquartered in IRVINE and is the 11th largest bank in the state of California. It is also the 134th largest bank in the nation. It was established in 2007 and as of December of 2023, it had grown to 514 employees at 30 locations. First Foundation Bank's money market rates are 11X the national average, and it has a C+ health rating.

Related Posts

Online Savings & MMA Rate Dropped With No Notice - 2/8/2024

I just checked my Online Savings and MMA accounts. The rates had been 5.00% and 5.25% respectively. Both have been dropped to 4.90% with no notice to customers. I had just opened the MMA at the end of November to get the 5.25% and it only lasted 2 months!!

MMA 5.25% New Rate And Opening Info - 11/30/2023

I read the discussion about this account in yesterday's Liquid Account Rates post. I have an Online Savings account with First Foundation that is earning 5.00%. I called today but they would not honor the new MMA rate for my current online savings. I was easily able to open the new MMA online and in spite of the "new money required", fund it with a $1000 transfer from my current online savings account. The MMA is now open and earning 5.25%. I can add additional funds from my online savings at any time and only need to keep $1 in the online savings to keep it open.

First Foundation Online Savings Increases To 5% APY - 7/27/2023

Received email from First Foundation: "We are increasing the rate of your Online Savings account today to 5.00% Annual Percentage Yield (APY)."

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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

Posted by: |

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.

Customer Service Doesn't Exist

Posted by: |

I was attracted to FF initially because of the exceptional rates, did not have a problem until I went to website to get tax documents, the 'tax documents' folder was empty. I saw the Chat icon so I opened it up, it was 4:30pm, I assumed because Chat was available I would be able to ask my questions. I got something like "Our agents are busy helping other customers, but you are #1 in line". I got that message over and over, and after 20 minutes, decided to end that session and go to Chat bright and early the next day, when they opened at 9am. Same Chat message, over and over. I decided to call the office (El Segundo) at the # on my Welcome letter, and reached someone right away. I first informed the agent of my bad experience with their useless Chat feature but he didn't apologize for my inconvenience or seem to care about the issue. Moving on, I asked about a 1099 for my account and he said one reason for not providing one might be that I didn't make enough interest to generate one, there is a minimum amount required. I asked him what that amount was and he came back, after giving him my name and other info, he asked me what my passcode(?) was? I don't remember having to generate one, so he said there was nothing he could do. I simply asked what was the amount of interest that FF required to generate a 1099, but he said he couldn't give me that basic info without my 'passcode'. Between the Chat experience and the inability to get info I wanted off of their website, and now this annoying obstacle, I was furious and told him I wanted to cancel my account but he said he couldn't help me without my passcode???? Name, address, last 4 of SSN, account #, and I don't exist without a passcode?? I'm not sure what it will take, but because of his lack of concern or empathy for my situation...I will find a way to cancel my account.


Additional Factors: Institutions with a small asset base, a short operating history, or negative return on equity can represent an instability risk beyond what their financial ratios indicate. First Foundation Bank has a negative return on equity.

Health Grade Components

FDIC Certificate #58647
Year Established2007
Primary RegulatorFDIC
Profit Margin
Return on Assets - YTD-1.48%
Return on Equity - YTD-16.89%
Annual Interest Income$578.8MM
Assets and Liabilities
AssetsQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$13.3B$12.98B
LoansQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$10.15B$10.69B
DepositsQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$10.69B$10.41B
Equity CapitalQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$1.07B$1.27B
Loan Loss AllowanceQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$29.2MM$33.7MM
Unbacked Noncurrent LoansQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$13.6MM$12.5MM
Real Estate OwnedQ4 2023vs Q4 2022$8.4MM$6.2MM
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First Foundation Bank Savings Account Rates

4.90%--Online Savings Account - New Money

First Foundation Bank Money Market Rates

4.90%--Online Money Market Account - New Money

First Foundation Bank CD Rates

5.00%$2.5k-9 Month Online CD - New Money
4.85%$2.5k-12 Month Online CD - New Money


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