First Choice Bank was founded in 2005 by Peter Hui, Chairman of the Board and a first generation Chinese immigrant; Roshan Bhakta, who came to the US from India as a young boy and was raised in California; Homer Chan, who came to the US from China as an international student; Pravin Pranav, a first generation Indian immigrant who made his way to California via Africa and Europe; Phillip Thong, a boat refugee from Cambodia who came to the United States at the age of 19; and Yolanda Su, the Bank’s Chief Operations Administrator, at whose home in 2002 the first meeting of the Bank’s founders took place. Beginning with just 15 employees, the Bank was profitable within its first 5 years and quickly became a leading provider of financial services, specifically to smaller, ethnic communities. By 2009, our growing customer base led us to expand beyond our headquarters in Cerritos, California, to include a second location in Alhambra. In 2010, FCB became certified as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) by the U.S. Treasury, highlighting our dedication to serve and empower economically distressed communities.
First Choice now serves the needs of a wide range of clients and has expanded to several branches, from West Los Angeles to Orange and San Diego counties, serving all of the diverse communities in Southern California. In 2019, we were ranked the 43rd largest bank in California and the 521st largest in the nation. As well, we are 4th in the nation in SBA International Trade Loans, and we were recognized as #42 in S&P Global Market Intelligence’s Top 100 Community Banks under $3 billion.
Our tremendous growth can be directly attributed to our commitment to be "First in Speed, Service and Solutions,” which has been our philosophy from the very beginning.
In addition to our success as a leading financial institution, First Choice is actively engaged in community service, including the support of many worthy charitable organizations like Habitat for Humanity, the Blind Children’s Learning Center, and Junior Achievement, which provides local school financial literacy programs. We also conduct and participate in financial workshops for small local businesses and families. In 2019, First Choice made a record high donation as part of our Annual Charity Golf Tournament, now in its 9th year, directly benefiting 18 different non-profit organizations in our local communities.
As one of the nation’s top rising banks, First Choice offers the same services and products as larger institutions, yet we proudly preserve our core values and provide the personalized service of a community bank. For all your banking needs, we are the FIRST CHOICE!