First Foundation Bank is headquartered in Irvine and is the 17th largest bank in the state of California. It is also the 148th largest bank in the nation. It was established in 2007 and as of June of 2022, it had grown to 657 employees at 30 locations. First Foundation Bank's money market rates are 10X the national average, and it has an A health rating.
On line set up was not an easy process. First application was rejected because I scanned my driver license instead of taking a photo and uploading to them(they didn't let me know the reason my application was denied until I called). They won't let you scan your ID. So I submitted a second application and took an iPhone photo of my passport and sent to them by email and it was approved. However, there still was a delay in getting account set up so I called customer service. I left a call back number and they called back after about 3 hours later. Then they had a problem identifying my wife's SS number on the application. So I had to send them a photo of her SS card. Then they had a computer problem and had to call back. Finally, the problem was resolved and the account was set up.Their website is very easy to use.
Update: Even better! Dec 2022
FF's been raising rates to be in the top 5 regularly. When I get the urge to look at depositaccounts and think about rate chasing, I wait less than a week, and they've raised. Now 4% APY.
Raised ACH limits to a very reasonable 100k a day, 250k a month. They have a fast transfer that's also free for 5k max a day. My gripe is that the standard transfers take 4-5 days to credit. When a family member exceeded the check deposit rate, they raised for the day a couple of times.
I've had more interactions with newaccounts when I needed something and to open for family. Always prompt and helpful and effective. I still prefer them to chat & messaging (that seems not as effective.)
This is fun. I leave my funds, and have to do nothing to keep getting top interest. I haven't seen any fees.
They've added some helpful features. The credit score report has good info. The link to your other accounts is nice and gives totals, but a tad glitchy at updating a couple of my accounts. But it's nice to have one place to open and see what's happening at all my accounts from credit union to 401k (shows the daily transactions.)
FF's rate's been consistently higher than other banks. They went down after I opened, but so did everyone else and they were still higher. They've just raised to 1.65% when everyone else is at 1% or .7%. They're A or A+ rated.
The time I needed to add higher amounts (or was it remove?), I got a wire fee waver and it was done promptly.
I tried ACH at first but each limit doesn't open up until the last ACH has fully cleared, so it takes too long. I use my broker (who has high limits) to push pull larger amounts if needed, without problems.
The customer service is mixed. Some interactions go smoothly. Others not so well. The online messaging person isn't very good. Chat wasn't very clear either. Tone's are cheery though.
You need to ask for the new accounts dept.
Recently needed to deposit a large check. New accounts raised my mobile limit for the day.
Mostly my funds sit there and I do nothing, so it's worked well for me!
Opened a First Foundation account back in January after reading the reviews and seeing the great rate they were offering on the online savings. So far my experience has been really good. The application process was pretty standard with the usual background check questions. Enrolling in online banking and the mobile app are easy as well. I like that they have the facial recognition and credit score tracker in the app and it has everything else I need like mobile deposit and my transaction history. It’s nice you can do mobile deposit to the savings account unlike other accounts such as Marcus.
After reading a few of the negative reviews on the transfer limits I was a bit nervous. However after talking to a really nice customer service rep I was told although the initial limit is $10,000 per day, after I had done a transfer and they were comfortable with my account I could transfer up to $20,000 a day without needing an exception. I already linked my other checking account and the process has been smooth so far. Compared to other online accounts I had: CIT, HSBC, Marcus – I like First Foundation’s customer service best. I always get through to an actual bank employee in a couple of minutes and they are very knowledgeable and friendly. I live in CA so I also like the added benefit of being able to go to a full service branch if needed. I’m also going to look into the ATM card with the fee reimbursement since that sounds really convenient. Hope this helps anyone considering the bank.
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.
|FDIC Certificate #||58647|
|Return on Assets - YTD||1.23%|
|Return on Equity - YTD||11.41%|
|Annual Interest Income||$172.9MM|
|Assets and Liabilities|
|Assets||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$11.23B$7.92B|
|Loans||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$9.39B$5.99B|
|Deposits||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$9.60B$7.12B|
|Equity Capital||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$1.20B$730.8MM|
|Loan Loss Allowance||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$33.2MM$22.3MM|
|Unbacked Noncurrent Loans||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$14.0MM$16.2MM|
|Real Estate Owned||Q2 2022vs Q2 2021||$6.2MM$0|
Always verify rates and promotions with the bank or credit union. We are not First Foundation Bank; we are a rate comparison website and cannot provide official rates or promotions.
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|4.50%||-||-||Online Savings Account - New Money Only|
|APY||MIN||MAX||ACCOUNT NAME||VIEW DETAILS|
|4.20%||-||-||Online Money Market Account - New Money|