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Union Bank: A national bank growing from the heart of San Francisco

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Union Bank logo thumbnailUnion Bank, which serves customers throughout the United States from its headquarters in San Francisco, can trace its history to 1864. That's when the bank got its start as The Bank of California, based in San Francisco. The modern Union Bank was formed in 1996, when the Bank of California and Union Bank combined to form Union Bank of California.

In 2008, the bank became a wholly owned subsidiary of BTMU. The bank shortened its name to Union Bank and made plans to expand from its California base.

Those plans have been realized with the bank having assets of $120 billion by mid-2016. The bank is a member of Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, with about $2.6 trillion of total assets.

Union Bank checking accounts

Like most major banks, Union Bank offers a variety of checking accounts, all with their own individual perks. All of the bank's checking accounts come with a debit or ATM card, online banking, mobile banking and bill pay and account alerts to make sure that customers don't spend more than what their account holds.

Union Bank's Priority Banking account comes with the most perks, including earning interest. This includes free transactions at ATMs that aren't located in the Union Bank network and an unlimited supply of checks. To open a Priority Banking checking account, you'll need an initial deposit of at least $1,000. You'll also have to pay $30 a month for either an online statement or paper statement. This fee is waived, though, if you have a combined average balance of at least $50,000 in Union Bank savings, checking or money market accounts.

The bank's Ready to Go Checking account is a bit more basic. For $3 a month, you can access non-Union Bank ATMs two times a month with no fee. You'll have to pay $1 a month for access to cashier's checks or money orders, services that come free with a Priority Banking account.

To open a Ready to Go account, you'll need a minimum opening deposit of $100. The monthly maintenance fee of $10 can be avoided if you make a combined $500 in direct deposits during the month, make a combined $500 in mobile check deposits or have an average balance of $1,000 in your checking account or $5,000 combined in all of your Union Bank accounts.

Savings accounts and money market accounts

Union Bank requires a low initial deposit of $50 to open a savings account. These accounts pay variable interest rates, which the bank pays out to account holders once every quarter.

You do have the option of linking your savings account to you Union Bank checking account. This will provide you with overdraft protection. If you write a check for more money in your checking account, funds from your savings account -- or money market account if you like one of those, too -- will automatically transfer to your checking account to cover the overdraft.

The bank's basic savings account comes with a $4 monthly service charge. You can avoid this, though, by keeping a minimum daily ledger balance of $300 or by making at least one deposit of $25 or more during the month.

You can also choose from one of the bank's money market accounts. These accounts pay out higher interest rates, but do require a larger deposit to open. To open Union Bank's basic money market account, you'll need an initial opening deposit of $2,500. If you maintain a minimum daily ledger balance of $2,500, you can avoid the monthly maintenance fee of $9 if you are opting for online statements or $10 if you choose paper statements.

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