U.S. Bank leader: Union Bank acquisition ‘game-changer’ for California customers

February 27, 2023

California customers to enjoy greater convenience, improved technology and continued focus on building strong communities, he says.

When Carl Jordan started with U.S. Bank 30 years ago, the company had 12 branches in California. Today U.S. Bank has the fourth-largest branch network in the state, and that number is going to increase significantly with the conversion of hundreds of Union Bank branches to U.S. Bank planned for late May.

“This is a game changer for California,” said Jordan, executive vice president, branch and small business banking for California. “It’s going to completely transform the market for customers. I am in awe thinking about how far we’ve come – and where we’re going.”

For existing Union Bank customers, becoming part of U.S. Bank will mean both a significant increase in branch and ATM access and an improvement in technology, he said.

Enhanced digital banking

As some examples, the U.S. Bank mobile banking app is ranked No. 1 by a consensus of benchmarking firms and offers an array of highly secure tools that enable customers to do their banking digitally.

In addition to being able to check balances, transfer money and deposit checks securely through the app, customers can apply for credit via text messaging and get a decision in seconds.

The company also uses cobrowsing technology that enables bankers to see remotely – and at the same time –  what a customer sees on U.S. Bank digital banking channels. Cobrowsing gives bankers the ability to walk the customer through different tasks and features, and answer any questions the customer has, all while protecting customer data.

“The new tools customers will have access to will make banking easier for them,” Jordan said.

Expanding the branch network

When customers need or want to do their banking in-person, they’ll soon have many more options.

U.S. Bancorp in early December completed the acquisition of the MUFG Union Bank core regional banking franchise from Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group. Union Bank has a sizeable branch network of its own, primarily in California, and the conversion to U.S. Bank branches is planned for Memorial Day weekend.

After Union Bank branches are integrated to the U.S. Bank brand, current Union Bank customers will have more than double the number of branches available to them in California. At the same time, existing U.S. Bank customers will gain more than 100 new locations in the state.

In Washington and Oregon, Union Bank clients will go from less than 20 combined locations to being part of one of the largest branch networks in those states.

In addition, the bank’s combined clients now have fee-free access to about 600 additional U.S. Bank ATMs, between branch and off-site locations. After being integrated into U.S. Bank, Union Bank customers will also gain access to thousands of branches and ATMs across the 26-state U.S. Bank branch network.

Because there are places where U.S. Bank and Union Bank branches are very close to each other – in some cases across the street or even in the same shopping center – select branches will be consolidated, with careful planning going into those consolidations, Jordan said.

“A big part of our analysis is what provides the best access and convenience for customers,” he said. “We’re looking at which locations can best provide the breadth of services we can offer, including wealth management, mortgage banking and business banking.”

In nearly all cases, customers who are accustomed to going to a branch that will be closed will be able to go to another branch that is very close by. One out of three consolidated branches are less than 0.2 miles away, more than 50 percent are within a half mile and 80 percent are less than a mile away.

“We really want to make the transition as easy as possible for all of our customers,” Jordan said.

U.S. Bank has committed to retaining all front-line branch employees. In instances where branches are consolidated – whether the branch was previously a Union Bank location or U.S. Bank site – the employees will move to other nearby branches.

“Customers who migrate to other branches will probably see familiar faces serving them,” Jordan said. “We’re also making sure that employees who represent communities where a large number of residents speak Japanese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mandarin and other languages remain in those communities.”

Partnering with communities

The company is also committed to continuing to serve every city and community where Union Bank is now, he said, and is planning to add five new locations in communities where residents have low to moderate incomes in the coming years.

“Bringing these two great institutions together creates a great opportunity to positively impact the customers and communities we serve ,” Jordan said. “On behalf of my colleagues across the company, we’re so excited to have this opportunity.”


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