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The California Business Bank (CBB) is a business owners’ bank located in downtown Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2005 and services the small businessman and entrepreneur. Although it is technology based, customers may also bank in person. CBB offers free banking, and the standard account and loan options. Use the CBB mobile app or visit a Moneypass ATM for deposits and withdrawals.

 

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The Good

  • Physical branches available
  • Account options
  • Advantages

Physical Branches Available

CBB is an online bank for small businesses and entrepreneurs. However, for those times when person-to-person is preferred, customers can go into the branch office or have the banker come to their place of business. The "banker in the field" will come prepared to complete any task that one would do inside of the branch office, upon a business owner's request. Of course, the same services that are offered inside the branch office and in a visit from the field banker, are also available online, with the help of their mobile app, which can be used to deposit checks, transfer funds or simply view account information.

Account Options

For $100, bankers can open a personal checking account and receive their first order of checks for free. They also enjoy free ATM service, debit card transactions, e-statements, bill pay, and mobile app downloads. This checking account has a 0.79% AYP at a variable interest rate. CD's have a 0.95% AYP and free monthly maintenance.

CBB offers 3 types of business deposit accounts: Free 50, Interest First and Optimized Cash Flow. The chart below shows a comparison of the 3 types:

FREE 50 INTEREST FIRST OPTIMIZED
free monthly maintenance 0.70% AYP, on ANY balance customized management of cash flow based on supply and demand
free technology banking tools free technology banking tools free technology banking tools
first 50 transactions each month free, excluding cash transactions first 200 transactions each month free, excluding cash transactions
no debit card fees; first check order, free

Advantages

Their money market has a 0.80%AYP on ANY balance. It also has other similar advantages as the Interest First account. There is free online and mobile banking, the first order of checks is free, and bill payments are free. In addition to that, such an account can be opened with any amount. CD's have a 0.90%AYP and costs nothing to maintain.

CBB also offers loans. Customers can establish or grow their entities through the use of SBA, Commercial and Industrial, and Commercial Real Estate loans.

The Bad

  • Limited information
  • Products and services
  • No reviews

Limited Information

The information about CBB is minimal and, of that information, very general. This is the case found on their website, as well as in other internet searches. During a phone call, the manager of client services did not know the amount of their total assets until she looked it up, and quickly stated that all information about the bank could be found on FDIC. Her response to whether or not they offer savings accounts was because it has an interest rate of 0.15% AYP, which is also the reason it is not mentioned anywhere on the website.

CBB has only 1 branch office that has 22 employees, a disadvantage to those customers who prefer going into a branch office or request visits from the field banker to do their banking. Their total assets are just over $80 million, and their mobile banking app was only rated by Apple.

Products and Services

There is nothing unique or exceptional about the products and services CBB offers. As a matter of fact, some are sub-standard. For example, their Free 50 business deposit account requires $1,500 to open, and the banker gets the first 50 non-cash transactions each month for free. This compares to other banks who offer the same product to account holders and to whom 50+ means those who are 50+ in age, and they only need $50 to open the account. Free monthly transactions within the Free 50 and Interest First accounts that CBB allows, do not include cash deposits and withdrawals. SBA loans at CBB cannot exceed $2 million, while the government controlled maximum amount is $5 million. No interest rate on any loans are listed.

According to Bankrate, a financial services company for consumers with 39 years of experience, CBB has a below average rating. This evaluation is based on the questionable quality of their assets, low earnings, and high overhead costs. They also predicted that this bank is headed for failure.

No Reviews

CBB has no posted consumer reviews on their website. There are also none to be found from other sources with the exception of 3 reviews from former employees. Although these reviews could be biased, they are still negative. All 3 reviews claim that the working environment was unfavorable. The former Vice-President went as far as to state that "one learns to produce more with less", in regards to his employment at CBB.

The Bottom Line

California Business Bank is a very small entity that has no competitive edge. The best feature they have that is somewhat unique, is the field banker that will come to a place of business to service a client who is unable or prefers not to conduct business otherwise. Their products and services are standard to all other commercial banks, to say the MOST. Customers can use the ATM for free, but not to deposit or withdraw cash, and that only happens once they find a Moneypass ATM.

Although CBB has comparatively high interest rates on business deposit accounts, money markets and CD's, the interest rates on the loans are a mystery. Because the information that is available about CBB is so little, and what is known is, for the most part, unfavorable, doing business with California Business Bank is a huge risk. Those that use California Business Bank can expect the following:

  1. High interest rates
  2. Ability to obtain loans
  3. Lack of unique services

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