MUFG Union Bank (operating as UnionBank) is an American full-service bank with 398 branches in California, Washington and Oregon which is wholly owned by MUFG Bank. The bank, formerly known as Union Bank of California, N.A., has operations in California, Washington and also has commercial branches in Dallas, Houston, New York City and Chicago, as well as two international offices. Headquartered in New York City, MUFG Union Bank, N.A. is a subsidiary of holding company MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation and a member of the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (NYSE: MUFG).
As of December 31, 2014, MUFG Americas Holdings Corporation had $113.7 billion (USD) in assets and the Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group had total assets of approximately $2.3 trillion (USD). Its foundation is built on five lineages; three originate in California and two in Japan.
In 1914, Kaspare Cohn founded Kaspare Cohn Commercial & Savings Bank in Los Angeles. It was renamed Union Bank & Trust Company of Los Angeles in 1918. Harry Volk was recruited from Prudential Insurance Company as the bank's new CEO in 1957 and pioneered the use of the one-bank holding company, among other banking innovations. Volk retired in 1980 after the purchase of the bank by London-based Standard Chartered Bank in 1979.
Meanwhile, the Bank of Tokyo established the Bank of Tokyo California in 1953 in San Francisco. In 1975, Bank of Tokyo California purchased San Diego's Southern California First National Bank, shortening its name to California First. Four years later Bank of Tokyo California, via California First, took over Union Bank and adopted its name.
In May 1996, Mitsubishi Bank and the Bank of Tokyo merged in Japan. In San Francisco, the Bank of California and Union Bank consolidated into UnionBanCal Corporation, a bank holding company, and its primary subsidiary Union Bank of California, N.A. With the merger, Union Bank could now trace its history back to the founding of the Bank of California 132 years before. In 1999, UnionBanCal Corporation became a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:UB).
On October 19, 2004, the Federal Reserve Board announced that Union Bank had entered into a written agreement to avoid criminal prosecution for money-laundering. Three years later, Union Bank was again accused of money-laundering and in September, 2007, the Department of Justice and the Treasury Department announced that Union Bank had agreed to pay $31.6 million in penalties and forfeitures to settle government claims that it had been implicated in an elaborate drug money laundering scheme involving Mexican exchange houses known as casas de cambio.
In August 2008, Mitsubishi UFJ offered to buy the 35 percent of Union Bank it did not already own, which Union Bank accepted. On November 4, 2008, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ (BTMU), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), announced that BTMU had successfully acquired all of the outstanding shares of UnionBanCal Corporation.
In 2014, MUFG integrated the U.S. operations of its subsidiary The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) with those of San Francisco-based Union Bank, N.A.
In April 2018, the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd. (BTMU) was renamed to MUFG Bank, Ltd.