First Foundation Bank Reviews

Average Rating:
Based on 56 review

Smoothe Setup High Rates

Posted by: |

I wanted to park some savings at a high APR and found it at First Foundation.
ACH funding was quick and easy. They feature a comprehensive financial app and online experience. Haven't had any issues that would necessitate calling customer service so I have no experience there but everything else so far has been great with FFB. ETA: its interesting they would issue the old school embossed cash card. It comes with the shiney raised alphanumeric characters to roll carbon paper for use with a manual credit credit card imprinter. Card has no chip, no 3 digit security number on back.

Fine Until I Had An Issue

Posted by: |

avoid this place...or go at your own risk and hope you never need a card replaced
So they can send me umpteen pieces of junkmail to my home on a monthly basis covering a bunch of useless info i already know, like my transaction history....YET when i need a new debit card they cant figure my address out...and here i am nearly 30 days later still waiting
They are horrible.
Then i call another branch outside of my branch and they are incredibly rude about it since i wasnt all pleases and thank yous..
I am a customer not a solicitor over the phone selling you something.
Totally unacceptable.
they wont keep my business..
I am closing my account ASAP.
Good riddance...
Before they got bought out they were better..but not by much.
I've had this issue several times in the last few years but this time it was an emergency for me to have my card and this is unreal.
Then there is the issue of being locked out of the app constantly but that isnt that big of a deal.
Basically, i'd say, every other bank is better.

Bad Customer Service!!!

Posted by: |

Signing up wasnt too bad. I realize all the identity valudation is necessary but I needed to verify something and was using on line chat. I finally gave up after waiting 50 minutes! While waiting for them I was also on hold on the phone waiting for an agent and the call got disconnected twice!!! I finally got someone on the phone and closed the useless chat. I felt like closing the account right then and there but I was afraid my money would get stuck in limbo that was being transferred from another bank. Better be worth my trouble.

Online Setup No Problem

Posted by: |

Contrary to older reviews, online account set up was fast & straightforward. Pleasantly surprised that Initial deposit was credited the same day it left the external bank. 4.85% APR is currently among the highest. They have a local branch which gave me additional confidence to open the account.

I check my online accounts frequently. One day this month their login didn’t work on my phone app but did work on my laptop. I reported the problem by phone. The person from my local branch answered immediately and reported the problem which has since been fixed.

Prior to opening the account I called customer service with a question but primarily to see if they would answer quickly. They did and were informative.

The account is new but so far I’m glad I opened the account.

Worth The Trouble

Posted by: |

I opened this during Covid, completely online. Yes I did have to submit forms of ID, I had to do a couple extra things to add a beneficiary to the account, etc. Once it is open, I leave it open even if only leaving $100 there. They are very quick to raise rates when Fed moves, and stay competitive. Their online transfers have holds and limits to size, if you originate them on the FFB website. Your initial deposit (which can be very small until you get things set up fully) will take time to have hold released. But once that is done, you can link your account at your other institutions, for example Schwab or any other. Then you are able to push/pull any amount you like in the account, and there are no holds because the money originated from an outside bank and came in as ACH. I rarely use the transfer facility at FFB, I originate everything from other banks. I have moved $100K in and out many times, and I think you can do multiple transfers same day at Schwab if you want to go over $100K. All the complants here are from people who are frustrated with the setup early process and don't have patience to get it all set up before you put any real money in it. Start with $100, realize it may take some effort to get it all organized, THEN start using it. I like it as well as MySavingsDirect which both are very competitive now.

Not Worth It

Posted by: |

For first time account deposits, they take 10 business days to clear the money to make it available to you (very slow!)
Their systems are slow to post transactions. Even though they say that Zelle transactions are availalble to use instantly, it will show as Pending and get cleared in a day or 2. During this time, if you transfer the money out (internally or externally), they add a Pending Overdraft charge, which you hope and pray will drop off.
Their response to this - we know that our systems are slow

So Far So Good

Posted by: |

Opened account with them beginning of March and was happy that they do not do a hard credit pull. Initial funds went in quickly. Had a couple of issues. 1. on 2nd time adding funds I was advised that I needed to provide a bank statement with my name listed (as apparently the info they had just had my wife name as the sole owner of the account. Not sure why this was not caught when I set up the account and deposited several $k which already posted to the new account). I contacted Customer Service was given info on how to quickly handle and within 2 days it was done on their end. 2. When going to add funds the 2nd time again was told that they needed to make two micro deposits and I needed to verify. Huh??? Didn't I do that when I made the initial deposit??? Anyway went though that process which took another couple of days but since then NO issues at all. Their website is better than any of my other online banks and funds get moved and post quickly. As long as their rates remain near the top I have no plans to leave. Customer Service was quick to answer and at least seemed knowledgeable.

08/02/2023 - 4+ months in since opening and everything has been smooth as silk with them after initial small issues when first opened.

Just Stay Away

Posted by: |

The worse bank so far…..
It’s a hassle to open bank account to bring them huge amount of money , specially today, when banks are not in the best position !!!! LOL
Can you imagine if you want to get credit from them ????
Extremely unprofessional . I should trust negative reviews before gave to the bank all sensitive information .
Just pick another bank….

Avoid! Avoid! Avoid! Look Elsewhere.

Posted by: |

I've had a horrible experience with this bank and advise anyone considering this as their online bank to look elsewhere. First of all their application process makes it very difficult to get "verified". I applied 3 times for an account but only after emailing their customer service I was able to get approved. This should have been a red flag for me right away but I just shrugged it off as them being extra cautious. After a month with them they suspended my account for external transfers. Emailing them only got a reply that I need to call their customer service number for help with that. Their customer service is ridiculously hard to get ahold of on the phone. And are either completely incompetent or just give you a BS answer to move on to the next person. I believe that there are times when they simply don't answer the calls. It's hard to believe but I was customer "first in queue" for more than 40 minutes until I just decided to hang up. This has happened more than 5 times.?? The two times I did get ahold of someone they simply told me they'd look into it or speak with their manager and call me back. No calls after 1 week, no call backs regarding my voice-mails, phone system doesn't let me receive a call back when waiting even though I dial "2" as instructed, no one cares at this bank. I'm sure their customer service at their actual bank locations is good but their "online bank accounts customer service" is horrible. I tried speaking to someone at one of the bank locations, only to be told to call their online account customer service, which is almost non existent. Thank goodness they mailed me an ATM card and I was slowly able to withdraw my money. Avoid this bank, learn from my mistakes.

Errant Account Titling And No Customer Service

Posted by: |

The initial account approval/opening occurred fairly quickly for me and I thought things were on the right track. But then the initial funding trial deposits didn't occur and I couldn't get external accounts to connect due to some sort of info mismatch. I suspected a titling issue on First Foundation's end, based on what I saw in their online interface vs. what I had entered on my application. But when calling customer service at the phone number listed online, which ends up being an outsourced rep from FiServ, I couldn't get a straight answer on the account title nor how to have it corrected and was instead directed to call yet another number, which while also listed was in my estimation the brick and mortar bank's number. But I was assured this was the right number to get assistance. Wouldn't you know it, that group told me they don't handle the online accounts and that I had to call some other number, a third which interestingly is not listed anywhere. Despite this being very dubious, I called that number and was on hold for a while before being forced to leave a message. At the time there was no way to send a secure message to the banking staff via the online interface. I could have tried emailing them as they had an external email address listed (along with the evidently useless phone number), but I decided to not spend any more energy trying to get someone to care. Fast forward a few months later and still no call back. Never mind that they also haven't automatically followed up/reached out to me regarding the trial deposits they originated that have yet to post and the zero balance I still have, which goes against their account opening policy. It seems First Foundation is a bank that can't properly title an account according to a customer application, won't work to internally direct or escalate such an issue to the proper staff upon speaking with a customer via phone, can't be bothered to publish the appropriate phone number for online accounts, won't return a phone call regarding something so fundamental, and generally just doesn't care what happens with your account. I guess it's a good thing that none of my funds ever made it into their hands to begin with.

Lousy Customer Service

Tried to update beneficiary information, for 2 weeks they still could not get it correct. The Docu-Sign template used was terrible the cells to enter information was for Social Sec. on all fields except the first line. Withdrew all money and will close account after 2 good years. 2 weeks to update beneficiary info? Ridiculous.

If An Online Acct Is Opened Better Be Near A Branch

Posted by: |

I did also have problems opening an account on-line in So Ca. Had problems getting my sign on to work and was on the phone for hours. Went to branch to get my DL scanned and sent to on-line folks. Now always do transactions in branch, do not take a risk with on-line transfer limits. Just a pain opening the account on-line almost 2 years ago.

Do appreciate the increase in the interest rate, almost unexpected based upon their prior rate history. This bank caters mainly to high balance wealth management folks I think. YMMV.


Posted by: |

After years of wonderful service from First Florida Integrity Bank which has now merged to become First Foundation, I am extremely dissatisfied. Customer Service if you can get them in person to talk to, were helpful only to a point. They did activate my debit card for me since I am out of the country. They were either incompetent or unwilling to give me a PIN for the card. I have had my card activated since June 16, but can only use it for online purchases. If I don't have a PIN I can not use it in any ATMs. I was told that since I now have an activated card, I would be able to use there automated services to get a PIN. Not so......the messages I get on all of their phones is "they are sorry, they are unable to help me and to call Customer or Member Services". What exactly is that number???? Nowhere can I find a phone number called Customer or Member Services. I have used their customer service email on numerous occasions and have never received an answer. I am slowly moving all my money and banking services elsewhere and once that is accomplished, I will close this account. Too bad they don't seem to be reading all of the really lousy customer complaints.

Setting Up Online Is A Nightmare

Im a very lazy person, so the fact that I registered with this website just to complain should really tell you something.

This is the worst online account creation system Ive ever seen in my life. The instructions came out of order and were unclear. With customer service, you will either get decent help, or be on hold forever and then transferred to voicemail.

All I want is to be able to Zelle money to my savings account and then leave it alone for years.
It should not be this difficult.
This is the most basic possible thing to do with a bank, and yet its frustrating.

Get it together First Foundation Bank.


Posted by: |

Application process is whimsical and unreliable.
Teaser interest rate not worth the hassle.


I’ve had online banks accounts for at least 15 years starting with Goldman Sachs that is now Marcus Bank. Their rates are no longer competitive IMO.

That being said 1.65% is not worth the total time I’ve spent on the phone with them, mostly on hold, for many hours between application problems and deposit time frames. When I made my initial ACH deposit, FF withdrew the money from my external bank account and deposited it on the same day into FF account. It was done on a Friday 7/8 both withdrawal and deposit. I did a 2nd ACH transfer, once again initiating transfer from FF website on Friday July 15th. FF took the money out of my external bank on July 15 and didn’t deposit it until July 18 into FF. So I lost at least 2 or 3 days of interest. ACH transfers can take 3-5 business days but when I’ve initiated transfers in the past from other banks, I always initiate the transfer from the bank I’m depositing the money into. That way I have never lost interest. I have lost interest if I do an ACH withdrawal from one bank and deposit into another. Withdrawal and deposit can be different days. When I called to complain, they asked if the transfer was done on a Friday, I said yes, they said well it can take 3-5 business days. I informed them the first ACH was also on a Friday and then they told me that was because it was the initial funding.

**** ALSO VERY IMPORTANT, while your money accrues daily and posts monthly, if you move any money out of the bank during any day of the month, except the 1st of the month, you will lose interest on the money you withdraw for the entire month. That's not how all banks work. If you don't believe it ask them, they even acknowledged that's not how all banks work. Also make sure you don't close the account within 90 days, they will charge you $20 to close. Take everything out from an external bank site using ACH on the first of the month.

As one reviewer put it, THIS BANK IS A JOKE. E*trade you can get 1.4% and Citizens Access is 1.75%. They're a division of Citizens Bank which has been around at least for 40 years. Customer service isn’t what it used to be anywhere but at least with the other banks I’ve mentioned it’s much easier to reach someone especially Conmexus Credit Union. Connexus excellent customer service. I opened a one year CD for 2.25%, that was a special and no longer offered. They do have a lot of new help there so don’t hesitate to ask for supervisor if person does not seem knowledgeable. Actually do that at any place of business since most CSR's seem to be clueless today and they all give the same spiel, "a supervisor will tell you the same thing I'm telling you". WRONG, there's a reason supervisors get paid more and are your superior. They have more knowledge and access to more tools that lower level CSR's do not.

PS Why do review websites always put 4 or 5 star reviews on top when their not the most recent reviews. You have to click on the tab for the most recent reviews and that’s when you really see how INCOMPETENT this bank is. STAY AWAY, RUN from FIRST FOUNDATION.

Waste Of Time To Contact Bank

First Foundation Bank

Tried to open a new savings account. Would not save info unless all entries accepted. Application would time out before I could locate all my personal data. Several times I had to start all over.

Called for help and was put on hold for over 2 hours and when call was finally answered got message “Sorry were are having system problems, please call back later”. Tried again the next day and after 2 hours the person did not have ability to give me an answer so got transferred. Waited another hour and got my answer.

Then got online to see my new account and found they did not include a joint account or a POD. My online account web page appeared very unprofessional, like the saving account was just an afterthought. I called again and was referred to a client service manager who was very knowledgeable and emailed a form to add my joint account. Sent it back called back and told she was on vacation for a week. I talked to my financial advisor about all the above and he said my time was too valuable to waste it on this bank. I had not yet verified my 2 small ACH deposits so the account was not funded. I was advised to cancel the account because I did not need all the stress.

Do Nothing Bank

Posted by: |

I have tried for 9 days to set up a savings account with this bank. Filled out application on line. Received email account was approved but needed government photo ID’s. Sent them same day of request and not heard from bank since. I have sent 4 or 5 emails to newcustomer email address. No response. Called three or four times and had to leave message with phone # for call back. No response. Notified bank by email to day to forget about my account. If a business is so sorry that they cannot respond to a potential new customer, how irresponsible would they be about other things, especially handling you finances.

I would advise anyone to not patronize First Foundation. Worst experience I have ever had with any business. Why they did not jump on an account that was going to invest a quarter of a million dollars and the investor has a credit score rating of 849 blows my mind. Had to give bank a one star in order to post. It is not worth one star.

Changing From One Star * To Four Star ****

Posted by: |


notwithstanding my initial poor experience, I contacted the local Oakland, CA branch by phone and the helpful lady was able to go into my application and add beneficiary's SSN and opened my account right away, she gave me her direct branch number to contact her in the future if any problem arise..... one time when I called her though I didn't leave a message, she even called back based on my caller ID, I think that is very responsive customer service

I also called their online phone center again the next week, they must have fixed their phones as a nice day answered the phone and helped me register for online access

when my wife opened her account later we made sure to put in beneficiary's SSN this time and the account opening and funding was smooth

we have no problem with our accounts so far and transferring money is straight forward, in case there is any problem, I can always call the local branch and based on my experience I trust they will give excellent help



here is my lousy experience with this bank trying to open an account:

-applied online on 6-20, at the end of the application shows a page with approval and new account number, also received confirmation email of account opening

-on 6-25, received email they denied my account because either ID not received, ID expired, or ID not of valid image.... none of this is true as I uploaded at application time front and back of my still non-expired driver license taken with camera (not scanned) as they required

-undaunted, and giving them benefit of the doubt, I applied again on same day on 6-25, this time they only required front ID and the ID upload page also looked different, so I thought they have made some adjustment to their website to fix some problem..... again received approval and account number and email confirmation

-8 days later, 7-3, received email that application is denied for reason SSN of beneficiary is not provided, even though SSN is optional on their application and at other banks SSN are also optional for beneficiary

-today, 7-5, thinking I could call to sort this out, pressed option 3 for online account opening, after 2 hour hold going from queue position 8 to 1 and finally heard a ring tone thinking I am being connected, lo and behold I got this message "We are currently experiencing system problems and unable to process you call, please try again later" and got hung up........I CALLED THREE TIMES TODAY with two different phones, ALL GOT HUNG UP AFTER 2 HOURS HOLD EACH TIME !!!

What is confusing is that at first they granted approval and even provided new account numbers but after a few days emailed denials on two occasions, they seriously need to revamp their account opening procedures...not to mention their very unreliable phone contacts.

I am a patient person as you can see I tried applying on two occasions and called them three times trying to resolve the issue.... I am really trying to stick with this bank because they seem to have good financial rating "A" and have a nearby branch, but due to their incompetency and confusing practice I am giving up

Good Rate Not Worth It

Posted by: |

APYGuy said it best...its as if it was me that wrote his review! EXACT same things happened, without question parking money with an institution like this who isn't responsive makes no sense when there is a hard stop in getting my funds out in small increments of 20k with at least a 3 day settlement.

To those who haven't started the application process consider another online account. They are all coming out of the woodwork fighting one another to have the right to your money! You'll find the right fit. Need to do a review of my own and score them a one star to make sure I accurately represent my experience too. Thanks for sharing APY Guy. Validates my misery and hopefully helps save others in the process.

Good Rate But Nobody Home

Posted by: |

With a 1.65% rate being one of the highest around, I decided to apply for their high yield online savings account. I liked the fact that they also have some physical locations in my state. So I fill the application out with every bit of sensitive, personal information they request (more than other banks I have dealt with), including that of my beneficiary and the funding setup. Shortly after submitting the application I receive a confirmation email stating my application has been approved. Great right, well not really.

A few days go by and I see the funds never left my funding account, I also had not received any other emails or correspondence from First Foundation or my funding bank. I decide to give them (FF) a call. After waiting in queue for entirely too long I choose the call back option. A couple hours go by, no call back. I call them again, and again on hold in queue for longer than I'm willing to admit to, and once again I choose the call back option. Here we are several days later and still no call back from them. I also tried emailing them with same result, nothing.

I am glad that, for whatever reason, the account doesn't seem to have been funded and opened. But I do regret giving them so much personal information. I would hate to have my $$$ tied up with a bank like First Foundation Bank, who in my experience appears to have the worst customer support of any institution I have ever dealt with.

This Bank Is A Joke

Posted by: |

1. During signup an optional beneficiary can be specified. When providing the beneficiary's information, there's an optional field for SSN (other fields are mandatory). I didn't provide an SSN. After submitting my application I received notice that my account application was denied and that the beneficiary's SSN is required. Their email said I needed to start from scratch and fill out a new application. However, after spending over an hour on the phone to get a hold of a customer service rep, I was able to get them to remove the beneficiary from my existing application and continue opening the account.

2. After my application was approved, I waited and waited for an email to complete initial funding, which involves verifying two deposits at another financial institution. Despite my account having been opened 4 days ago, no deposits have been made and I have not received any email in order to validate those deposits, despite First Foundation saying in other emails to me that they've already sent it. I emailed the bank asking about this email and how to validate my external account and have gotten no response after four days.

This bank is a joke. If it's this hard to open an account and fund it, I can only imagine how ridiculous it would be trying to deal with the bank in making large withdrawals or for other issues. Stay away unless you don't mind wasting your time dealing with incompetency.

High Rates, And Successful Interactions

Posted by: |

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.)

Original review

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!

Good Bank For Interest Rate 2022

Their web account is clunky, but it works.

Incompetent, Not A Secure Place

Posted by: |

Application requires drivers license. By photo. NOT scanned. I do photo and attach.
Somehow "unreadable" at its end. Representative says copied on home office copier paper is acceptable. I mail in US mail within Southern California AND send by fax, to person at address given.
A week later neither is supposedly received (!) Application denied.
You do not want to leave any deposits in such a place as they, too, could become not found.


Posted by: |

Wealth Management? What a mistake!! Take your investments (Trust) to another bank. BE AWARE! Poor management, high fees, and you will need legal counsel to pull out. HIGH RISK for potential investers.

Incompetent, Consistenly

Posted by: |

Same experience as "bankcustomer" - can't seem to ID people...

Any bank with this many review can't be good.

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.

Looking Scary...

Posted by: |

I signed up a few days ago based on the advertised 1% APY.. Immediately upon transferring funds, I am shot an email saying it is now .75%... GEE THAT WAS FAST!!! registering for online banking felt like navigating through a splash page for CBD oil, the online dashboard looks feeble. Give it a second I suppose, but odds are I'll be moving out shortly.. Fees to transfer money, odds are you won't be given any return between fees and plunging rates.

Weird Experience

Posted by: |

Great rate by today's standards, so tried to open a savings account. Filled out all the paperwork, day later application rejected, apparently you need a photo of driving license, and not, g..d forbid, a scan. Ok, no big deal, let me upload a photo, right? Nope, apparently you have to start from scratch. Almost gave up, but decided to try again. Photo is good, now application rejected based on credit score... Never seen this one, I was not asking for credit, I wanted to give them money... Given my credit score is 800+ feels rather strange, I am thinking maybe they simply advertise the rate but don't actually want to honor it.

Inbound Wire Fee

I got started with an application and put a halt on it when I got to Fee Schedule. There is a $10 fee for any Incoming Domestic Wire. I am able to do wires out from my primary bank so this kills it for me

Just Like All The Rest

I opened a new savings account and within two weeks their rate went from 1.75% to 1.20%. I wasn’t expecting it to stay at 1.75% for too long but I didn’t even have enough time to fund my account. Now their rate is lower than my current bank’s rate of 1.30%. I’ll be surprised if any savings accounts will be above 1.00% within a couple of months.

Interest Rates On Savings Drop Daily

Posted by: |

I signed up when the rate was 1.75%. By the time my money was transferred, the rate was already 1.6%. A few days later and the rate is now 1.45%. It has been about a week. They bait you with a reasonable rate and then drop it quickly and consistently. Not worth the effort.

First Foundation Bank Customer Service Very Poor

Posted by: |

This bank was unable to assist me with setting up an external account so that I could use my account.
Countless hours on hold and on the phone, not resolution.
When I asked to close the account I learned that I had to pay $20 for closing the account early, and then $8 for a check, since I had no external transfer account set up. Insult to injury.
Extremely disappointed.

Pleasantly Surprised

Posted by: |

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.

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.

Withdrawing Money

Posted by: |

I just called the bank and was told the most you can withdrawal from savings in a given month is $10,000.
So, if you deposit $50,000, it will take 5 months to take your money out.

Account Opening

Posted by: |

Do not deal with these people. I apply online for their 2% savings account. I pass security check. I call rep, while I am still online, about how to get documents to them. Rep gives the answer I want, but takes a long time. My online application has been ended without my permission and I have to start from scratch. This time I flunk their security check - different questions. She can do nothing about it. I choose to get their security report from Lexisnexis. It is riddled with false information. The Lexisnexis agent tells me this is an unverified data base, and it is illegal for a bank to make accept-reject decisions on the basis of this report. The rep refuses to correct the false info I found in the report, but will send me an Accurint report, which is a verified data base. I call the bank, telling them they make security decisions on the basis of a faulty data base. They offer me to reapply.

Community Bank Service

Posted by: |

The people that work at First Foundation are wonderful. A breath of fresh air compared to citi. I saw a promotion for their savings account and couldn't pass up the rate. I had a lot of question so I called the 1-800 number. I was quickly transferd to an "actual" banker and he walked me through the process and answered all my questions. I'm all signed up and funded my account with the mobile deposit feature. I look forward to earning a decent rate on my savings.

Happy With This Bank

My husband and I opened a joint account after a friend recommended First Foundation Bank. We opened both the high yield savings and a checking account. So far so good. I really like the bankers at the branch in my area and it’s really convenient that I can use any ATM since they reimburse the fees. I like that they don’t nickel and dime us with fees and the interest rates are way higher than we were earning at Wells Fargo.

Great Rate. Friendly Bank

Just opened an Online Savings at 2.00%. Process was pretty straight forward. Received approval a couple of days later with my account number. Although the transfer limits are lower than I have experienced in the past, I funded the account by sending money in via ACH from my previous bank so there weren't any limit issues. I had a question regarding the online mobile baking set up, and got through to a banker quickly. She was nice and I got my answer. Ill probably get a checking account too given the ATM fee reimbursement and the no limits on internal transfers.

STOP - Read This Before Opening A First Foundation Bank Account

Posted by: |

I wish I had read a review like this before opening an online savings account with FFB.

Yes, they do have excellent interest rates; but this comes at a cost. I have spent hours on the phone with FFB and it's important to know that:

1.) You CANNOT transfer more that $5,000 via an ACH transfer per day OR more that $10,000 total per month. Yes you read that correctly. This includes withdrawing your money AND EVEN DEPOSITING into your FFB account!

To get a rate this good you're probably transferring a sizable amount. Ask yourself if you're ok with this hassle and only being able to take $10k out per month of your own money.

2.) You CANNOT deposit a check into your new account via the FFB mobile app (because your account is new.)

3.) Three out of the four FFB reps I spoke with (all friendly) did not even know their own policy. I had to literally read the error message from my FFB app to the rep before she believed me that ACH transfers INTO my new FFB account were limited.

4.) FFB already places a 10 business day hold on your deposits, so there isn't any logical reason why they would limit the amount you can DEPOSIT into their bank (via check and especially ACH).

5.) Once I spoke with a knowledgable rep, she acknowledged the limitations and stated my only option other than driving to one of their few branches was to MAIL A CHECK to their El Segundo, CA branch. Hey 1985.

I did just this (from Southern California) but after a week, still no deposit. I highly doubt the post office lost the letter during that short trip from San Diego to Los Angeles, especially after interacting with enough FFB employees to question their basic capability/capacity or their knowledge of basic bank processes.

I know that sounds harsh, but it took 4 minutes just to get the rep my name and account number so she could look me up, and the second rep (after an escalation up the chain) didn't do anything for a full minute after asking my first name. After waiting in silence I mentioned I knew my account number, but his cell phone rang at that point and he put me on hold to answer.

5.) 2.00% is a great rate in this current market. Not sure if it's great enough for this hassle though unless you only deal directly with a local branch.

Can't Verify My Identity?? - First Time Ever

Posted by: |

Just tried to open an account for their 2.4% savings, provided my Social Security #, my driver's license number, all pertinent info.

Received "Could Not Verify Identity; Will Send Email" message. Email has not yet been received.

To be clear, I'm a US Citizen and have NEVER had a problem opening a bank account before (credit reports aren't frozen, double-checked all digits). Citibank, Chase, BofA, and Goldman Sachs have all managed to open accounts for me with identical information.

So hard to find a good bank these days.

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.

Great Rates. Great Service.

Opened a joint account online with me and my wife. App asked some pretty standard out-of-wallet questions, and I also had to upload a picture of our ID's. Was easily able to move funds in via ACH from Capital One from both Capital One's system and First Foundation Bank's. I also called into their help line, and every one was super nice and helpful.

Good Experience So Far

Posted by: |

I opened a savings account after seeing it on deposit accounts last month. The process was pretty painless. Followed the steps, got approved and got my confirmation email with my account number. I had my money at Ally before so I just linked my First Foundation Account to my Ally online banking and ACH'd the money into my new account. Some people have complained about the $5k transfer limit through First Foundation, but I had no issues because I sent the money via Ally like other reviewers suggested. I called a couple of times and always got through to a banker. So far so good, I'm also going to open a checking account in branch so I can transfer money faster. Plus I like the ATM reimbursement and this bank seems to have minimal fees compared to larger banks.

Incompetence, Glitch Or Mistake?

Posted by: |

I tried opening a savings account and was turned down due to First Foundation's inability to verify my identity or address. I sent in picture ID (driver's license), which they verified that they have on file when I submitted my application. I called into the bank and offered passport, SSN, birth certificate, multiple utility bills along with offer to do this in person at a branch. The customer service rep couldn't explain why they couldn't verify my address or identity and suggested that I simply re-apply. Too much of a hassle just to open a savings account. Luckily, I saw the PSECU CD promos in time and parked my funds there.

This Bank Misses The Point Of Being A Bank

this bank doesn't support ACH transfers in higher amounts. So lets say you want to transfer $150k, it'll take you MONTHS to transfer. I have been at several other online banks which supported high ACH levels with no problem. they have no good reason as to this practice. now my account will be in process of closing for over another month. the idea of being a bank, is to take large amounts of money, this is silly!

Easy Account Opening And Great App

Posted by: |

Applied on their website for an online savings account and was approved in a few minutes after answering the onboarding questions. Similar to other accounts I have done in the past I did the trial deposits and got linked up in a couple of days with my transfer in. No issues so far and already seeing interest earned. I downloaded their mobile app and was pleasantly surprised at the interface with the mobile deposit, facial recognition sign-in, and account transfer features. They will also provide an ATM card upon request with fee reimbursement for non-FFB ATMs which is great. I can go to any of the big banks around the corner to take out cash free of charge.

Bank With Great Service And ATM Connivence

My husband and I have been banking at First Foundation for the last 3 years and have had a great experience. We have used a variety of their personal products including a CD and their online savings account. Their online banking and apps are as good as many of the larger banks and their customer service is on point. I rarely have to call about anything but when I do I get a real banker, not a machine. Another great feature of the bank is with their ATM cards they reimburse for other bank’s fees so we can use any ATM in the country for free. It’s more convenient than banking at chase or BofA. Highly recommend the bank.

Fast & Easy Opening Process But Slow ACH Transfers

Posted by: |

I signed up for an Online Savings account with First Foundation Bank (FFB) and the opening process was fast and easy. I was vetted by the security questions which were asked during the opening process. I also had no issues with linking external account with two trial deposits. The drawback is 5K/day for inbound ACH transfer limit, and ACH transfers normally take at least 3 business days to clear. I called FFB customer service regarding about inbound ACH transfer limit and was told that I could deposit checks at local branches if I wanted to make deposits more than 5K/day. FFB has branches in Southern California.

Great Business Bank With A Personal Touch

Posted by: |

I have had business and personal accounts with First Foundation for 3 years now and the service and product offering has been great. Their online and mobile banking apps are much easier to user than some banks 10 times their size I have banked with in the past. They offer very competitive rates and accounts with all the banking solutions I need such as bill pay, mobile check deposit and easy account transfers. Their banking staff are extremely friendly and they have a great help support. I would recommend this bank to anyone.

The financial institution, product, and APY (Annual Percentage Yield) data displayed on this website is gathered from various sources and may not reflect all of the offers available in your region. Although we strive to provide the most accurate data possible, we cannot guarantee its accuracy. The content displayed is for general information purposes only; always verify account details and availability with the financial institution before opening an account. Contact [email protected] to report inaccurate info or to request offers be included in this website. We are not affiliated with the financial institutions included in this website.