Print | Email



For Immediate Release

Jane Yedinak
(415) 765-3241

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 24, 2014 – Union Bank, N.A., founded in San Francisco in 1864, celebrated its 150th anniversary with a celebration at its historic main branch at 400 California Street, attended by Union Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Masashi Oka, Board members, and San Francisco-based Union Bank employees. Special guest Charles Fracchia, Founder and President Emeritus of the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society, provided a historical perspective on San Francisco and banking 150 years ago, and Mr. Oka spoke of the bank’s contributions to the community.

“Union Bank has believed in the power of responsible banking to build communities since the day of its founding, an ideal that’s never faded in a century and a half,” Oka said. “We’re proud of our part in nourishing the heritage of this city, this state and the West Coast, and we look forward to helping them flourish for another 150 years,” he said. Oka is also CEO for the Americas of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which owns Union Bank.

Developing San Francisco and the West
The company was founded as The Bank of California on July 5, 1864, by financier William Chapman Ralston and was the West’s first incorporated commercial bank. It financed many aspects of the mining industry through California’s Gold Rush years and handled more gold bullion than any other private institution in the United States.

Ralston leveraged the institution’s capital to fund key infrastructure in the West, including the Transcontinental Railway, the first irrigation systems in the San Joaquin Valley, Hunters Point shipyard, and San Francisco’s cable cars, as well as the wine industry. The bank served as a key player in the region’s tremendous growth during the latter portion of the 19th century and the early 20th century.

Community Commitment Continues Today
Union Bank continues to uphold its legacy of service in the communities it serves. At the anniversary event, the bank provided a donation to the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society.

Union Bank supports the community through employee volunteerism as well as charitable contributions through the Union Bank Foundation. In 2013, the bank’s charitable investment in local communities totaled $13 million, which included grants, contributions, and sponsorships to help finance the efforts of nonprofit organizations within the bank’s geography. The bank’s investments focus on four areas: affordable housing, community economic development, education, and the environment.

Union Bank is the second largest bank with headquarters in San Francisco, providing jobs for nearly 1,900 Bay Area employees, as well as a work environment that promotes diversity and inclusion, and stewardship. A proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, the bank has six branches in San Francisco and 57 in the Bay Area to serve the financial needs of local businesses and residents.

To learn more about Union Bank’s history visit:

About UnionBanCal Corporation & Union Bank, N.A.
Headquartered in San Francisco, UnionBanCal Corporation is a financial holding company with assets of $105.9 billion at December 31, 2013. Its primary subsidiary, Union Bank, N.A., provides an array of financial services to individuals, small businesses, middle-market companies, and major corporations. The bank operated 420 branches in California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, New York and Georgia, as well as 2 international offices, on December 31, 2013. UnionBanCal Corporation is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., which is a subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Inc. Union Bank is a proud member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG, NYSE:MTU), one of the world’s largest financial organizations. In July 2013, American Banker Magazine and the Reputation Institute ranked Union Bank #1 for reputation among its customers. Visit for more information.