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Bank of the West

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LAST UPDATED: March 15th, 2022

In 1874, Bank of the West originally opened up for business on the California frontier. Originally known as the Farmers National Gold Bank, today Bank of the West is one of ten banks nationwide authorized to issue paper currency backed by gold reserves. With this backing, the Bank of the West has helped people build homes, finance farms, and grow businesses. The Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas. The Bank of the West offices can be found in 22 states and is comprised of more than $75.7 billion in assets. 

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The Good

  • Experience
  • Checking account
  • Savings and money market accounts


Bank of the West have managed and been entrusted with their customer's money for over 135 years. For personal, small business, and commercial clients, Bank of the West provides basic banking solutions as well as lending and investment opportunities. For more affluent clients, there are wealth management solutions too.

Checking Account

With each and every Bank of the West checking account, clients can enjoy the features and benefits that fit any and all specific needs. Bank of the West representatives and dedicated advisors will also be there every step of the way. There are three checking accounts available for Bank of the West clients:
  • Easy Checking: an everyday account with a low minimum balance. There is no annual percentage yield and an $8-$10 monthly service charge. Online and mobile banking with Bill Pay, debit card, and optional overdraft protection all included.
  • Signature Checking: an interest-earning checking account with added benefits. The annual percentage yield ranges from 0.01%-0.03% depending on the balance. There is a $30 monthly service charge. Added features include: online and mobile banking with Bill Pay, debit card, optional overdraft protection, earns interest, no fee for money orders, standard checks and stop payments, and no Bank of the West charge at other bank ATMs.
  • Bank of the West Premier Checking: a premium-level Bank of the West relationship with valuable benefits for everyday banking. Annual percentage yield ranges from 0.01%-0.03% depending on the monthly balance. There is a $30 monthly service charge and all features included from two other checking platforms. There is also premier investment benefits and loan discounts as well.

Savings and Money Market Accounts

There are two different savings and money market accounts to choose from. These accounts are designed to help clients reach any and all financial goals. Whether the saving is designed for short or long-term, there is account tailored to the needs.
  • Classic Savings: an interest-earning account that can be opened easily with a low minimum deposit.
  • Choice Money Market Savings: an account with higher interest rates and more customer benefits when clients also open a Signature Checking or Bank of the West Premier Checking account.
Each savings account requires a minimum opening deposit ($25 for Classic Savings and $100 for Choice Money Market Savings). Interest is compounded daily and paid monthly. There are monthly service charges that range from $5-$15 as well, but they can be waived.

The Bad

  • Limited locations
  • Monthly service charge

Limited Locations

Bank of the West only operates in only nineteen states. If a prospective client does not reside within one of these states, Bank of the West will not be able to provide them with their banking needs. The serviced states include:
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

Monthly Service Charge

The limited availability is not the only drawback to the Bank of the West service. Another is the fact that almost all of the Bank of the West checking and savings accounts require some sort of monthly service charge. While these service charges can be waived, certain requirements must be met. However, if these requirements are not satisfied, the charge will be applied.

The Bottom Line

Bank of the West does more than just offer financial/banking solutions to their clientele. They also provide financial education and wealth management solutions. Those considering Bank of the West as their provider can expect the following from their service:
  1. Various checking and savings accounts
  2. Retirement opportunities
  3. Financial Education
  4. Monthly service charges apply
  5. Limited availability
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Connie Signoretti Anaheim, CA

I have been on the Bank account with my mom who is the main account holder for several years. Since 2017 my brother and I had to put her in an assisted living place because she had severe dementia which has progressed so much now that she is incapacitated and has been a couple years. I went to BofW with my mom's trust which they wouldn't even look at. Said I needed a lawyer. I want to put it in the name of the Trust she has in case something happened to me, my brother could take over. We pay 4300.00 a month for her care and can't have an interruption in payments should something happen and I can't anymore. Unforeseen things happen as we all know. The trust clearly names my brother and I to take over if she is incapacitated. The bank won't even look at it. So now I have to pay high fees for a lawyer??? I also have a DPA which named me as taking control of her financial business immediately back in 2017 which the bank won't read either. I thought that is what a DPA and a Trust is for so no lawyers are needed. If I have to get a lawyer they can be assured the account will be moved to another bank. Very unhappy with BofW

1 year ago

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Evelyn Bovan

Friendly, efficient, always greeted, addressed by my name and short wait time As there are enough tellers to handle the customers

5 years ago

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Lynett Molek

Thay have a personal banker for me who is very knowledgable.

5 years ago