Frequently Asked Questions and Answers

These FAQ’s address many of the common questions we hear regarding the acquisition of Desert Commercial Bank (DCB) by First Foundation Bank (FFB)

About FFB:

  1. What is a “Private Banker”? Our style of banking delivers all your financial services through one point of contact, a Private Banker or a Client Service Manager, who work with other offices and firm team members to deliver solutions to meet your financial needs.  These individuals are your “go to” point of contact to make sure that you have access to all services we offer and to manage your daily banking needs.  They will open and help you with any deposit accounts, checking accounts, or loans needs.  They work with you to introduce you to our comprehensive services that include investment management, trust, insurance and wealth planning services. 

  2. Who should I contact with questions?  Until August 20, 2012 you should continue to address any questions to the same DCB managers that you have been doing business with.  After August 20th you will gain the benefits of First Foundation’s services that are offered to each client by our Private Bankers and their team who are responsible for providing access to our entire set of comprehensive financial services. Your “Welcome Packet” contains the name and contact information of the person who will be serving you.  In many cases it will be someone you are already familiar with and who knows your financial needs.

  3. Does my Founders Account still maintain the same at FFBYes, the benefits for your accounts at DBC will continue.

  4. Will phone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses remain the same? Colleagues at DCB will be getting new email addresses.  We encourage each client to update his or her mail directories as soon as possible. To assist our clients during the acquisition, emails sent to DCB addresses will automatically be forwarded to that person’s First Foundation email address.

  5. What is going to change with the new bank?  The name of the bank will change, but our commitment to our customers will remain the same. 

  6. How will the changes impact me as a customer?  You will become a client of First Foundation Bank.  You will gain a single person at the bank and a team of professional bankers who have the responsibility of providing you with superior service where you want to conduct business.  This could be at your home, office or anywhere you choose.  We are known for our concierge style of banking service.

  7. Will the bank still actively participate in community events?  Yes, FFB understands the importance of participation in the community and will continue to support community organizations.

  8. Can customers of different banks use the other offices for their banking needs after the merger?   Yes. For your convenience you may take care of any banking needs at any of our locations.  In fact that is an added benefit to the merger that may make your banking experience more convenient.

  9. Will any offices close following the merger?  All DCB offices will remain open. First Foundation’s La Quinta office will be consolidated into the DCB Palm Desert office.

  10. Will my banking office telephone number change?  No.  Your banking office telephone numbers will not change. 


  1. How will Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”) Insurance affect me if I have accounts at both banks?  If you currently have deposit accounts at both DCB and FFB, your combined balances may exceed the maximum amount that is insured by the FDIC. The FDIC will continue the separate deposit insurance coverage that applied to your accounts at DCB and FFB to the later of: a) six (6) months after the completion date of the merger of DCB into FFB or b) in the case of CDs, the earliest maturity date after that six-month period of your DCB CD, for more information about FDIC insurance, visit the FDIC Web site at www.fdic.gov or contact your Private Banker.

  2. Will my account terms and conditions be grandfathered and for how long?  FFB and DCB are currently in the process designing a combined service offering.  This combined service offering will be rolled out the weekend of September 15 coinciding with the installation of new data processing capabilities.   The new data processing capabilities will offer enhanced services.  We will be providing periodic updates during August and September to keep you informed.

  3. Will I automatically receive new checks and a new debit card?  You will receive a new debit card with the FFB name and logo.  Your debit card number and pin number will remain the same. You will also receive a new package of checks at no charge.  However, you will be able to continue using your current checks until they are depleted.

  4. Will my account number change and if so, when?    Most all clients will retain their current account number. Account numbers will only change if there is a DCB and a FFB client who has the same account number when we combine our data processing systems.  If this unlikely event occurs, we will provide an additional box of checks with their new account number and assist them in transitioning any automatic debits from their old account.

  5. Will the routing number change for wire transfers?  Initially DCB’s routing numbers will continue to be effective.  Eventually, with advance notice, the DCB routing number will be retired.  We encourage clients to change to the First Foundation routing numbers as soon as possible.

  6. Will the ATM fee reimbursement plan remain in effect when I use another offsite ATM machine?    First Foundation reimburses all offsite ATM surcharges. 

  7. Will my current ATM card still work?  Yes, as long as it has not expired.  However, we encourage you to use the new card that will be mailed to you in early September to make sure you have continuous access to ATM’s.

  8. Is First Foundation keeping the safe deposit boxes?  Yes.  We do not anticipate any changes to our safe deposit box services.

  9. Will the teller services within the branch remain the same, i.e. purchase cashier's checks. Yes, teller services will remain the same.

  10. Does FFB offer a 24-hour customer service number? You may access our online banking services 24 hours a day to conduct your banking.  We provide personal assistance from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.  Private Bankers are available 24 hours a day seven days a week to serve your banking needs by calling their mobile telephone number.

  11. Will business debit cards be available for my business account?  Yes, First Foundation does provide Business Debit cards to qualified businesses. 

  12. Will I need to set up all my bills again on the new bill payment system and will I lose any history?   No, your current payee records will be transferred to our new online service during our conversion on the weekend of September 14th.

  13. Can I bank at any FFB branch and receive credit the same business day?  Yes, after the acquisition is completed.

  14. Will I start to receive higher service charges?  FFB offers service and account balance combinations to many times eliminate monthly fees. Your Private Banking team is available to assist you in finding the right account services to meet your banking needs.

  15. Will branch hours or location change?   FFB is open from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM and from 4:00 PM until 5:00 PM by appointment Monday through Friday.  Our El Centro office is open from 9:00 AM until 4:00 PM and from 4:00PM until 5:00 PM by appointment Monday through Thursday.  On Fridays the El Centro office is open from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM.  The El Centro drive-through will be open from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM Monday through Thursday and from 8:30 AM until 6:00 PM on Friday. 

  16. Will you be open on Saturday?  No, but our ATMs, online banking and mobile banking services are available any day any time.

  17. Will First Foundation offer the same products and services I use at Desert Commercial Bank?  Your banking options will be increased.  FFB offers an extensive package of online banking, bill pay and cash management services to banking clients and is investing in enhancing these services in an ongoing manner.  FFB also provides access to investment management, wealth consulting, financial planning, trust services and insurance services greatly expanding the services formerly offered by DCB.

  18. Will my remote scanner still work? Yes, in mid September our remote deposit services are being upgraded as part of our data processing conversion.

  19. Will there be any changes to holds on checks? No, the same regulatory rules still apply.

  20. Will I continue to have courier service if I currently use it?  Yes.  Your services will continue however, FFB will be using its contract courier to provide these services in the near future. We encourage you to consider applying for our remote deposit solutions, EZ Deposit or EZ Deposit Lite which provide you greater security, faster credit on deposited items and improved recordkeeping.  

  21. Will the interest rate on my certificate of deposit (“CD”) change?  The terms of your CD will remain unchanged until the CD’s first maturity date after conversion. At that time, the CD will automatically renew to the comparable FFB CD and you will earn interest at the rate in effect for the new term. If you receive interest payments from your CDs, those payments will continue without interruption.

  22. Will there be a change to the current cycle of my loan or account statement?  No. All current Desert Commercial Bank statements will be incorporated into the FFB system with the same cycle date.

  23. What if I want to open a New Account?   Any account opened on or after August 15, 2012 will be selected from the FFB’s suite of products.


  1. Will I need to re-establish automatic Direct Deposits and withdrawals to my account if/when I receive a new account number? Will I need to re-direct my ACH debits and credits?  You will only need to re-establish your automatic Direct Deposits if you are one of the very few clients who have to change their account number.

  2. What will happen to my social security payment?  I’m on a fixed income and worried my money won’t be deposited to my account on time.  There should be no delays in processing these items.  The DCB and FFB colleagues are working towards a smooth transition. 


  1. What type of lending will the bank offer?  FFB offers all the standard commercial business term loans and lines of credit.  We also offer various types of secured lending for individuals.   We have a specialty in lending on multifamily real estate.  Contact your Private Banker with any specific loan inquiries.

  2. What happens to my existing loan?  Where do I send my loan payments?  You may continue to make your payments at the same location as with DCB.  We will be providing you information on where to mail payments after our data processing conversion.

  3. Will the interest rate on my loan change?  No.  Loan and credit line terms will not change.

Online Banking:

  1. Will I still have the same password for online banking?  Online banking and bill pay services are being significantly upgraded.  You will need to re-enter or adopt a new password the first time you log on to these sites.

  2. How do I access Online Banking? Online Banking clients will continue to enjoy improved online banking services at FFB through the FFB website. 
  3. Will my ability to send wire transfers online change?  Yes, the daily submission time for same day transactions will be extended until 2:00PM for domestic wires and 12:00PM for foreign wires.

  4. Will my ability to originate an ACH online change?  Yes.  ACH transactions will be processed three times daily at 10:00AM, 3:00PM and 5:00PM, providing you flexibility.