SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of the West, one of America's most reputable banks according to a 2015 Reputation Institute/American Banker survey, and University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), the nation's premier public research university, today announced an exclusive agreement making Bank of the West the Official Bank of UC Berkeley. As part of the agreement, the university will receive $17 million in support over the next 10 years from Bank of the West for academic scholarships, internships, on-campus personal finance education, and support for programs and priority student initiatives, such as the UC Berkeley Food Pantry Fund, which provides emergency food assistance to students in need.
Through one of the most comprehensive agreements of its kind in the country, Bank of the West becomes the newest member of UC Berkeley's University Partnership Program (UPP), which works collectively across the university to develop meaningful, comprehensive relationships with business partners.
"We are pleased to contribute to financial education and the enduring vitality of the university through our long-term commitment as the official bank of UC Berkeley and our membership in the University Partnership Program," said Bank of the West chairman and CEO, Michael Shepherd. "Bank of the West views this agreement as an important contribution to the university's continued academic excellence and public mission."
Bank of the West was selected as the Official Bank of UC Berkeley following a collaborative process that included a competitive request for proposals. The bank gained input from an engaged campus working group that included representatives from the student body and faculty. Bank of the West responded to the areas that the group identified as most meaningful and beneficial to the campus – including prioritization of student interests.
"This relationship leverages a unique model that benefits the university's core mission, protects students, and provides improved financial products and services to the campus community," said John Wilton, UC Berkeley's vice chancellor for administration and finance. "It's a great example of how we can collaborate as a campus to develop meaningful university-wide partnerships that generate more revenue for the university, streamline business operations, and support programs that students care about."
Bank of the West will be offering products, services and guidance that are tailored to meet the needs of the specific life stages for each segment of this diverse community and help individuals reach their financial goals, whether they are freshmen opening their first bank account, graduate students buying their first home, or faculty planning for their retirement.
"Bank of the West is honored to help foster the next generation of leaders and innovators through our expanded banking relationship with UC Berkeley," said Andy Harmening, Bank of the West's vice chairman of consumer banking. "We are committed to helping the campus community achieve financial success through a broad range of resources and programs. As a relationship bank, we take great pride to be in the position to support the financial lives of students, staff and faculty."
UC Berkeley students who choose to become Bank of the West customers may apply for a student checking account with no monthly service charges. Faculty and staff will have access to banking products offered at discounted rates, such as loans, bonuses on money market and CDs, as well as mortgage closing cost credits. Also available to faculty and staff are Bank of the West offerings that include personalized services such as mortgage financing and retirement planning.
"As part of the university's mission tied to public service, we are committed to teaching students the skills they need to excel both academically and in daily life," said Rachelle Feldman, UC Berkeley's assistant vice chancellor and director of financial aid and scholarships. "The revenue from this relationship will allow us to expand our 'Bears for Financial Success' program and empower more students to make informed financial decisions now and after they graduate."
The relationship with UC Berkeley expands upon a nearly 20-year alliance between the bank and the university's athletic department. The bank's ongoing presence is part of its larger commitment to Cal Athletics and one of the many ways to connect with the Berkeley and San Francisco Bay Area communities.
"Bank of the West has been a valuable partner to Cal Athletics since 1997," said Mike Williams, Cal's director of intercollegiate athletics. "I am grateful for Bank of the West's continued support and I am excited to see the university expand this relationship to extend its benefits to the broader campus community."
By this time next year, students, staff and faculty will have convenient access to seven on-campus ATMs and an on-campus banking branch in the student union. The first two on-campus ATMs will be installed at the Student Union and the Haas Business School by year-end.
Together, Bank of the West and UC Berkeley aim to provide students, faculty and staff with financial support that matches the culture of excellence they experience on the UC Berkeley campus.
Bank of the West is committed to the communities in which it operates and, through its charitable investments and volunteer programs, supports important economic and community development issues such as access to affordable housing, small business development, job-readiness skills and asset building. Bank of the West is consistently ranked as a Top Corporate Philanthropist in the regions it serves and is also a long-time supporter of the arts, education, college athletics and professional sports.
About Bank of the West
Bank of the West is a regional financial services company chartered in California and headquartered in San Francisco with $72.5 billion in assets as of June 30, 2015. Founded in 1874, Bank of the West provides a wide range of personal, commercial, wealth management and international banking services through more than 600 offices in 22 states and digital channels. Bank of the West is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, which has a presence in 75 countries with 185,000 employees.
About University of California, Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is the world's premier public university dedicated to excellence in teaching, research and public service. This longstanding mission has led to the university's distinguished record of Nobel-level scholarship, constant innovation, a concern for the betterment of our world, and consistently high rankings of its schools and departments. The campus offers superior, high-value education for extraordinarily talented students from all walks of life, operational excellence, and a commitment to the competitiveness and prosperity of California, the nation, and the world. The University of California was chartered in 1868 and its flagship campus in Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay, was envisioned as a "City of Learning." Today, there are more than 1,500 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members dispersed among more than 130 academic departments and more than 80 interdisciplinary research units. Twenty-two Nobel Prizes have been awarded to faculty, and 29 Nobel Prizes to UC Berkeley alumni. There are 7 Nobel Laureates, 32 MacArthur Fellows, and 4 Pulitzer Prize winners among the current faculty.
SOURCE Bank of the West