Doreen Woo Ho's New Chapter Is Her Last, San Fran's R&G Lounge Says "Drop Dead"

October 1, Message from Doreen Woo Ho, CEO of United Commercial Bank:

Dear Valued Customer,

As UCB’s Acting President and CEO, one of my top priorities is to keep our customers updated on important developments at the bank.  Over the last several weeks, we have made significant strides in our effort to turn the page and start a “new chapter” in UCB’s history.  We are working closely with our regulators to make the bank stronger for the benefit of our customers and other stakeholders in the U.S. and China.  Let me briefly summarize the progress we have made in the past few weeks.

Partnership with China Minsheng Bank

I recently returned from China, where I met with the Board and management of our strategic investor, China Minsheng Bank (CMBC).  They expressed their continued support of UCB and interest in working together on strategic initiatives and other business synergies.

Currently, a group of 17 young managers from CMBC are visiting our San Francisco headquarters, where they are spending six weeks undergoing both classroom and practical training in various departments of the bank.  This collaboration has helped members of both banks deepen our understanding of each other’s business and will help us find new ways to enhance UCB’s high-value products and services.

Capital Plan

We are focused on addressing our capital needs going forward, as we announced in our press release on September 8.  To that end, we are aggressively moving forward with our capital plan and have engaged a financial advisor to help us look at all our options.  As soon as we have something specific to disclose, we will communicate it publicly to all our customers and other stakeholders.

Financial Restatement & Management Action Plan

In the last few weeks we have aligned our team with our outside auditors at KPMG to work as expeditiously as possible to complete our financial restatement. The entire management team is doing its utmost, as are our auditors, to move the bank forward and put us back on a solid foundation for the future.

Community Support

While we are working hard to move the bank forward, all of us at UCB continue to partner with members of our communities in the U.S. and in the Greater China Region to meet the banking needs of our customers in all of the regions we serve.  Two examples stand out.

In Boston, UCB recently helped Chinatown Main Street, a public-private initiative between the City of Boston and the National Trust of Historical Preservation, open an account at our Boston Chinatown Branch to help them support funding of the “2010 Master Plan of Chinatown.”  UCB has been a partner with Chinatown Main Street in hosting the street festivals to celebrate Chinese New Year and Autumn Moon Festival in Boston’s Chinatown for many years.

At a recent UCB community dinner in San Francisco’s Chinatown, more than 400 Chinese community leaders and representatives of civic and non-profit organizations in the Bay Area were joined by former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown, President of the SF Board of Supervisors David Chiu and Fremont Mayor Bob Wasserman.

Many of the attendees had great stories to share about the ways in which UCB has been there for the San Francisco community over the years.  Gordon Chin, Executive Director of Chinatown Community Development Center, mentioned that UCB provides much-needed funding and loans to help build the local community and improve quality of life for residents.  Kinson Wong, owner of R&G Lounge, one of the most popular and well known Chinese restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, shared with everyone that the Bank helped him expand his business in the past 20 years by providing him with several rounds of financing.

I know I speak for all UCB associates in saying that we are very proud of this heritage and the relationships we have developed with our customers and leaders in all the communities we serve.

Finally, I want to emphasize that United Commercial Bank is committed to the highest standards of integrity and transparency in all aspects of our business.

Thank you for your continued confidence in us.  As always, if you have any questions or comments, please call us at 1-800-821-3899 or email us at

Doreen Woo Ho



Fast Forward to...

November 6, 2009:

East West Bank, Pasadena, California Assumes All the Deposits of United Commercial Bank, San Francisco, California

United Commercial Bank, San Francisco, California, was closed today by the California Department of Financial Institutions, which appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) as receiver. To protect the depositors, the FDIC entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with East West Bank, Pasadena, California, to assume all of the deposits of United Commercial Bank. This agreement included all U.S. branches of United Commercial Bank, the Hong Kong branch of United Commercial Bank, and the subsidiary of United Commercial Bank headquartered in Shanghai, China, United Commercial Bank (UCB-China).

The 63 U.S. branches of United Commercial Bank will reopen during their normal business hours beginning tomorrow as branches of East West Bank. All locations in Hong Kong and China will reopen on Monday, according to normal business hours. In addition, UCB-China, the Shanghai, China, subsidiary of United Commercial Bank, which was also part of today’s transaction, will continue its regular banking operations without interruption with the full support of its parent company, East West Bank, whose qualification has already passed the preliminary review by the China Banking Regulatory Commission.

As of October 23, 2009, United Commercial Bank had total assets of $11.2 billion and total deposits of approximately $7.5 billion. East West Bank paid the FDIC a premium of 1.1 percent for the right to assume all of the deposits of United Commercial Bank. In addition to assuming all of the deposits of the failed bank, East West Bank agreed to purchase approximately $10.2 billion in assets of the failed bank. As part of the purchase and assumption agreement, the FDIC transferred to East West Bank all qualified financial contracts to which United Commercial Bank was a party and those contracts remain in full force and effect.

The FDIC and East West Bank entered into a loss-share transaction on approximately $7.7 billion of United Commercial Bank's assets. East West Bank will share in the losses on the asset pools covered under the loss-share agreement. The loss-share arrangement is projected to maximize returns on the assets covered by keeping them in the private sector. The agreement also is expected to minimize disruptions for loan customers. For more information on loss share, please visit: