Bank of the West Review

How does your bank stack up?

  • Financial Rates: 3.0 Star Icon
  • Customer Service: 5.0 Star Icon
  • Website Experience: 4.0 Star Icon
  • Bank Fees: 3.0 Star Icon

Pros:

  • Business accounts are available
  • Direct deposit is not required
  • A variety of different lengths of CDs
  • Transfer money to others with PopMoney

Cons:

  • Low-interest rates on accounts
  • High initial required amounts for CDs
  • High required amounts for accounts
  • Products change based on states

What You Need to Know

Bank of the West offers checking, savings, CDs, and money market accounts for your business. Credit cards, loans, and lines of credit are also available. Bank of the West offers payroll services and payment processing options. Foreign exchange services for business accounts are also available. Interest rates for their different business accounts are not listed on the website.

Bank of the West does not require you to have direct deposit into their checking account. There is a monthly maintenance fee, but you can waive that fee by depositing money into your account each month. You can deposit any amount by an ATM, in-branch, direct, or mobile deposit to waive the fee.

Bank of the West offers Flexible-Term CDs, Premium Money Market CD, and a Relationship CD. Within these different CD types are a variety of term lengths, except the Relationship CD. That only has a 12-month term option. To apply for a CD and get the specific term lengths and rates you have to visit a branch. You cannot apply online.

With Popmoney you can send or receive money with only an email, text, or account number. You decide where the money is deposited. You will receive an alert when the transaction is complete. There is a fee to send money overnight, and not all customers qualify to use Popmoney.

Personal banking accounts of Bank of the West do not have competitive interest rates. The rates are much less than online-only banks but similar to typical bank interest rates.

To open a CD, you must have an opening balance of $1,000 for the Flexible-Term CDs and Premier Money Market CDs. To open a Relationship CD, you must have $2,500 and a checking account with Bank of the West.

To waive the Premier Checking account fee, you must have $25,000 in qualifying accounts. The Choice Money Market account requires $5,000. CD accounts require $1,000 to $2,500 to open. The Classic Savings account requires $300. There are other options for ways to have monthly fees waived. Know the options if you cannot keep the required amounts of money in the accounts.

Bank of the West accounts are not available in all states. To apply for an account, you must have an address in one of the states listed. Interest rates and products differ between states. The name of the bank may be slightly different as well depending on the area.

Cool Things

Financial Education

Bank of the West offers financial resources. You can learn to build a budget and effective ways to grow your money. You can learn how to reduce debt and protect your financial information. Retirement information is available too.

International Help

If you have recently moved to the United States, Bank of the West has a team ready to help you set up new accounts. They offer multilingual specialists to help provide specific help. This team can help you set up checking accounts, auto loans, credit cards, and mortgages. To apply for these accounts, Bank of the West does not require U.S. credit history.

History

Bank of the West started in California in 1874. The original name was Farmers National Gold Bank. This bank was one of ten banks authorized to issue paper money back by gold reserves. This allowed people in California to build homes, buy farms, and start businesses. Good management and banking procedures saved Farmers National Gold Bank through the 1906 earthquake, the depression, and the world wars. People in California trusted Famers National Gold Bank with their money.

In 1979, Farmers National Gold Bank changed its name to Bank of the West because it was expanding. They continued to grow and in 1980 became affiliated with BNP Paribas, a large bank in Europe. Bank of the West has acquired other banks in recent years in California, North Dakota, and Nebraska.

Now there are branches in 23 states across the United States. They have more than $80.7 billion in assets.

Awards and Recognition

  • Ranked among "American's Best Employers" by Forbes in 2017
  • "Awarded "Best Client Service" by Private Asset Management Magazine in 2017
  • "Best Commercial Bank in the Western United States" by World Finance Magazine in 2016
  • "Best Private Bank in the Western United States" but World Finance Magazine in 2016
  • "Best Bank Employer" by Hispanic Network Magazine in 2015

Giving Back

Each year Bank of the West employees volunteer teaching financial skills to students. The students range in age from kindergarten to seniors in high school. Bank of the West spent over $1.2 million for this program.

Bank of the West donated over $770,000 to local charities who help people gain job skills. These charities train people and place them in jobs that match their skills. These charities help those who are homeless or fighting addictions. They help those who do not have enough education or have been involved in the criminal justice system.

Bank of the West supports small businesses. In 2015, they provided $2.3 billion in loans to small businesses and farms. They donated an additional $729,000 in support toward small businesses.

Bank of the West sponsors art shows, jazz festivals, and balloon festivals across the United States. They sponsor a variety of colleges and the PAC-12 conference.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Bank of the West FDIC insured?

Yes. Bank of the West is FDIC insured. The FDIC is an agency of the United States government that protects funds deposited in banks, up to $250,000 per customer, per bank. The money deposited in FDIC insured banks means money is backed by the full faith and credit of the United States government.

How do I access my money?

Debit card, transfers between accounts, ATMs, and in a local branch. You can send and receive money with Popmoney.

Does Bank of the West offer mobile banking?

Yes. Through the Bank of the West mobile app you can view account balance and transaction history. You can make transfers and find an ATM or branch.

Is Bank of the West free?

No. Bank of the West accounts have monthly fees. Waive the fees by meeting specific requirements.

Is Bank of the West a good bank?

Bank of the West offers a variety of personal and business accounts. The interest rates are not competitive with other online banks.

Is Bank of the West secure online?

Yes. Bank of the Wes is FDIC insured. They also protect your information through insurance protection, firewalls, and secure socket layering. Login fails are limited, and Bank of the West never asks for your login information. Bank of the West's website also offers free security software.

Does Bank of the West offer competitive interest rates?

Bank of the West's interest rates are competitive with other brick and mortar banks. They are not competitive with online banks.

Can I use Bank of the West for my business accounts?

Yes. Bank of the West offers small and commercial business accounts.

How is the online bank different from the online banking my bank offers?

Online banks offer higher interest rates and fewer fees.

Do their checking accounts pay interest?

Bank of the West's Premier Checking account pays interest. The interest rates are low, and you must have $25,000 in accounts to qualify for the Premier Checking.

How do I reach customer service?

Customer service can be reached by phone, email, mail, online chat, or have a representative call you.

Does Bank of the West offer bill pay?

Yes. Both types of checking accounts offer bill pay.

Can I deposit cash?

Yes, at a local branch.

How long do transfers take?

Transfers between Bank of the West accounts are instant. Money sent through Popmoney takes three business days. It can be sent overnight, but there is a $3 fee for each transaction.

Can I sign up for direct deposit to this account?

Yes. Bank of the West accounts can have money directly deposited.

Bank Contact Information

Find a Local Branch
1-800-488-2265

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