First Foundation Bank Review

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Updated on Thursday, October 8, 2020

With roots dating back to 1990, First Foundation Bank has grown into a sprawling financial institution with 20 locations across California, Nevada and Hawaii, serving customers in those states — plus, it also has an online savings account available to customers in other states. First Foundation touts more than $7 billion in bank assets and more than $4 billion in advisory assets under management.

While First Foundation Bank offers a wide-range of financial products and services, this review focuses on its deposit accounts, including its personal and business checking, savings and CD offerings.

First Foundation Bank checking account options

Personal Checking account

A free, basic checking account featuring unlimited ATM fee refunds.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, up to $20 per transaction
  • Overdraft fee: $35

First Foundation Bank’s Personal Checking account is its most basic checking account offering, with no monthly maintenance fee and a low minimum opening deposit of $100. However, this account does offer a relatively rare feature for free accounts — unlimited ATM fee reimbursements, up to $20 per transaction.

Along with the $35 overdraft fee, consumers should also be aware of the $3.00 fee for mailed statements — although this is easily avoidable by signing up for eStatements.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Personal Interest Checking account

An interest-bearing checking account that waives the monthly maintenance fee for bigger balances.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, up to $20 per transaction
  • Overdraft fee: $35

The Personal Interest Checking account is ideal for consumers with bigger balances who want to earn interest. You can waive the account’s $20 monthly maintenance fee if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500. This is an interest-bearing account, so be sure to check with your local branch for current rates.

Like the Personal Checking account, this account also has a $3.00 paper statement fee (if you don’t sign up for eStatements), a $35 overdraft fee and unlimited ATM refunds (up to $20 per transaction).

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Senior Interest Checking account

An interest-bearing checking account with minimal fees for those 55 and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0
  • ATM fee: $0
  • ATM fee refund: Unlimited, up to $20 per transaction
  • Overdraft fee: $35

First Foundation Bank’s Senior Interest Checking account is designed exclusively for consumers ages 55 and older. This account has a number of attractive features, including no monthly maintenance fee, unlimited ATM fee refunds and free basic checks.

Unlike the Personal Checking and Personal Interest Checking account options, the Senior Interest Checking account does not charge a fee for mailed statements. This account also earns interest, so be sure to check rates at your local branch.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

First Foundation Bank savings account options

Personal Savings account

A simple savings account with a low monthly maintenance fee.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3

The Personal Savings account at First Foundation Bank is a solid option if you’re looking for a bare-bones account to stash your savings funds. There is a monthly maintenance fee of $3, though you can waive it if you maintain a minimum daily balance of $250. Check your local branch for current rates for this account.

It’s also worth noting that like the checking account offerings, the Personal Savings account does charge a $3 mailed statement fee — although you can avoid the fee if you sign up for eStatements. Like most savings accounts, this account allows for only six withdrawals or transactions per month.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Online Savings account

An online savings account with a competitive APY, available to consumers nationwide.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0

First Foundation Bank’s Online Savings account is its digital-only savings account available to consumers nationwide.

The Online Savings account does require a steep minimum deposit of $1,000, but it is currently offering an attractive 1.00% APY (annual percent yield) on new money.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Member FDIC

Personal Money Market account

A tiered account, offering higher rates for bigger balances.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20

Another savings account option offered by First Foundation Bank is its Personal Money Market account. This account requires a hefty minimum deposit of $500, and you can only waive its $20 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,500.

This is a tiered account, rewarding bigger balances with higher APYs — be sure to check your local branch for rates. As it is with most savings accounts, the Personal Money Market limits you to six withdrawals per month. There is a $3 paper statement fee, although you can sign up for eStatements to avoid the fee.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Personal Senior Savings account

An interest-bearing savings account for those 55 and older.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $3

First Foundation Bank’s Personal Senior Savings account is available to consumers 55 and older, and boasts a low monthly maintenance fee of $3; however, that can be avoided by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $250.

Other benefits of this account include not having a fee for mailed statements and interest earned on funds — check your local branch for current rates.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

First Foundation Bank business checking account options

Small Business Checking account

A checking account for small businesses, touting low monthly fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5

The Small Business Checking account is First Foundation Bank’s product offering for small businesses, offering a lower minimum opening deposit ($100) and a lower monthly maintenance fee ($5). You can waive that monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $500.

This account offers up to 150 free combined debits and credits, with additional transactions priced at $0.55 per item. Cash that has been deposited and furnished will be charged $1.50 per $1,000 over $5,000 per statement cycle.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business Checking account

A basic business checking account with minimal fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $20

First Foundation Bank’s Business Checking is the bank’s basic business checking account product, offering up to 350 free combined credits and debits. Additional transactions are priced at $0.40 per item. Meanwhile, cash deposited will be charged $1.50 per $1,000 over $10,000 per statement cycle.

You can avoid the $20 monthly maintenance fee by maintaining a minimum daily balance of $2,500.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business Interest Checking account

An interest-bearing business checking account.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25

First Foundation Bank’s Business Interest Checking account is one of the bank’s two interest-bearing checking accounts for businesses — be sure to check your local branch for rates. This account requires a low minimum opening deposit of $500, and you can waive the $25 monthly maintenance fee with a minimum daily balance of $5,000.

The Business Interest Checking account offers up to 350 free combined debits and credits — additional transactions are priced at $0.40 per item — with cash deposited charged at $1.50 per $1,000, over $15,000 per statement cycle.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business Analysis Checking account

A business checking account that rewards you for healthy balances.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $12

With the Business Analysis Checking account, First Foundation Bank will reward you with a soft earnings credit (a reduction that is meant to offset the monthly service charge) depending on your balance. This account requires a minimum deposit of $500.

The Business Analysis Checking account charges transactions at $0.65 per deposit, $0.16 per debit and $0.11 per credit, as well as cash deposited being charged $1.50 per $1,000 per statement cycle.

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on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business Sweep Checking account

A business checking account that rewards you for having a high average balance or loan sweep.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25

The Business Sweep Checking account waives its $25 monthly maintenance fee if you have a $10,000 combined average balance or if you maintain a loan sweep (a way in which you move funds to and from your business checking account to your line of credit) to an active business line of credit. Like many of First Foundation’s other business checking accounts, this account requires a minimum deposit of $500.

This account is an interest-bearing account, and features up to 500 free combined debits and credits with additional transactions costing $0.40 per item. Cash deposited is charged $1.50 per $1,000 over $20,000 per statement cycle.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

First Foundation Bank business savings account options

Business Savings account

An interest-bearing business savings account featuring low fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $100
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $5

The Business Savings account is First Foundation Bank’s basic business savings account product, which bears interest and has low fees. You can waive this account’s $5 monthly maintenance fee by having a minimum daily balance of $1,000.

For cash deposited, you’ll pay a fee of $1.50 per $1,000 over $5,000 per statement cycle. You are also limited to six withdrawals or transfers per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business Money Market account

An interest-bearing money market account for businesses, featuring low fees.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $1,000
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $25

First Foundation Bank’s Business Money Market account is an interest-bearing savings account with a $25 monthly maintenance fee you can waive with a minimum daily balance of $2,500. This account does require a relatively high minimum opening deposit of $1,000.

This account charges $1.50 for cash deposited per $1,000 over $5,000 per statement cycle. Like the Business Savings account, the Business Money Market account only allows for six withdrawals or transfers per month.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

First Foundation Bank CD and IRA options

Personal CD account

An interest-bearing CD account for individuals also available in an IRA format.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0

First Foundation Bank’s Personal CD account is a solid savings account option, requiring a minimum deposit of $2,500, and there is no monthly maintenance fee associated with this account. Be sure to check your local First Foundation branch for rates and term lengths.

Along with the Personal CD account, First Foundation Bank offers a Personal IRA CD account option, allowing you to stash away cash for your retirement years. The IRA CD account has the same minimum opening deposit as the Personal CD account, and also does not have a monthly maintenance fee. As is the case for most CDs, though, you could be penalized for withdrawing your funds early.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Business CD account

An interest-bearing CD account for businesses.
  • Minimum opening deposit: $2,500
  • Monthly account maintenance fee: $0

Similar to the Personal CD account, First Foundation Bank’s Business CD account requires a minimum deposit of $2,500, and does not charge a monthly maintenance fee. Check your local branch for rates and term lengths available for the Business CD.

Like most CDs, you could face hefty penalties for early withdrawal of the funds in your Business CD.

SEE DETAILS Secured

on First Foundation Bank’s secure website

Is First Foundation Bank right for you?

First Foundation Bank stands out for its regional brick-and-mortar footprint, offering solid deposit accounts for both individuals and businesses alike. However, the fees and minimums required for many of its deposit accounts do not make First Foundation stand out among other financial institutions, and you may find more fee-friendly checking and savings account options elsewhere.

One product that is certainly worth considering, though, is First Foundation Bank’s only nationwide product: the Online Savings account. This account has a competitive APY and low fees, making it a solid option for those in the market for an online savings account.

Any rates and fees mentioned in this article are accurate as of the date of publishing.

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