Cathay Bank traditional Chinese simplified Chinese pinyin Guótài Yínhán is an American bank founded in 1962.
Cathay is headquartered in Chinatown, Los Angeles, with a corporate center in nearby El Monte, California.
It has branches in California, Massachusetts, New York, Texas, Washington, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada,
Maryland, and Hong Kong. Additionally, it has representative offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Taipei.
Fung Chow Chan Mar 1, 1909–Jan 29, 2001 emigrated from Guangdong to Los Angeles in 1933 to join his father's
silk business and founded the Phoenix Bakery in Chinatown with his wife Wai Hing in 1938,
the success of the bakery's strawberry cream cake, developed by his brother Lun, allowed him to be one of
the first Asian Americans to integrate the Silver Lake neighborhood.However,
he was denied a home loan because he was an immigrant, which spurred him to organize local community leaders and apply for a bank charter.
Initial attempts to open a savings and loan were denied repeatedly by state regulators,
so the group of investors he led instead applied for a commercial bank charter, receiving it on May 5, 196
and Cathay Bank started operations in 1962, the first bank owned and operated primarily
by Chinese-Americans to serve their community in Southern California. Chan's fellow founders were George T.M. Ching,
Gerald T. Deal, Dr. Tin Y. Kwong, John R. MacFaden, Thomas Quon, and John F. Varela.
Chan would also help found East West Bank in 1973, which received its charter on June 20, 1972.
Chan hired Eugene Kinn Choy, an architect responsible for many prominent buildings in Chinatown,
to design the new bank's headquarters, which opened in 1966 at 777 N Broadway.
The International Modern building incorporates the cultural heritage of its founders in the shape of,
the roof and the four Chinese characters running down the facade. 5 In 1979 it opened its first branch office
in Monterey Park. Its first overseas representative office in Hong Kong was opened in 1985