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History & Growth

Inspiring Confidence, Enabling Dreams.

We take pride in our American roots, where quality meets diversity and opportunity, innovation thrives, and community matters most.

Cathay Bank celebrated its 25th anniversary at the Los Angeles Chinatown headquarters in 1987.
The iconic Cathay Bank Headquarter building in Chinatown, Los Angeles

In 1962, when we first opened our doors in Los Angeles Chinatown, we set out with the purpose of providing the Chinese American community with access to our nation’s banking system for the first time.

We are the oldest operating American bank founded by Chinese Americans. We take great pride in fostering financial security, supporting local communities, and upholding the values of trust and integrity that define America’s financial landscape.

A black and white photo from 1960 shows the founders of Cathay Bank standing outside of the first branch in Los Angeles’ Chinatown in California.
Founding Members of Cathay Bank 
(from left to right) John R. MacFaden, Lun Hong Quan, F. Chow Chan, Gerald T. Deal, George T.M. Ching, John F. Varela; absent from picture: Dr. T.Y. Kwong

Mr. George T.M. Ching was the founding visionary for Cathay Bank. Born in Berkeley, California in 1914, George earned his master's degree from Stanford in economics with a focus on banking at the height of the Great Depression. Having settled with his wife in Los Angeles in the 1950s, he noticed that few financial services were made available to Chinese immigrants. With a career in banking, George envisioned a future where there exists a bank to aid Chinese immigrants in fulfilling their financial needs, offering them the same opportunities as their fellow Americans, and to build a future in this country. George set out to rally like-minded individuals who shared his vision of inclusivity and opportunity. Together, seven community members pooled their resources and founded Cathay Bank in 1962.

As we witnessed our community grow, Cathay Bank grew alongside them. Through the years, our U.S. presence has grown tremendously. We expanded from Southern California to Northern California, then to New York and Texas in 1999, Washington in 2000, Massachusetts in 2003, Illinois in 2006, New Jersey in 2007, Nevada in 2013, and Maryland in 2015. Today, we continue to expand through over 60 branches across nine states. Internationally, we have one branch in Hong Kong, and representative offices in Taipei, Shanghai, and Beijing.

Growth, as a company, goes beyond just brick-and-mortar. It is reflected in our performance and our ability to earn the public’s trust. After we went public in 1990 (Nasdaq: CATY), we grew to become one of the 100 largest financial companies listed on the Nasdaq based on market capitalization in 2000.

Cathay General Bancorp virtually rang the Nasdaq opening bell to celebrate the 30th anniversary of its Nasdaq listing.

Today, we continue to be recognized as a top performing U.S. bank. Since 2016, we have been consistently named by Forbes as one of the top 20 “Best Banks in America.”

With our headquarters in Los Angeles, we continue to serve our communities across nine states with an open door. And we remain committed to our founding promise: We open up financial opportunities for all to build a future in this country.

One bank, many facets

Cathay Bank

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