Frequently Asked Questions: UC Berkeley/Bank of the West Financial Services Relationship Agreement

 

GENERAL FAQS

Q: What does this relationship mean and what does it include?

A: This dynamic 10-year agreement designates Bank of the West the Official Bank of UC Berkeley. The agreement builds upon a nearly 20-year relationship between the bank and the university’s athletics department and provides the campus community with scholarships, personal finance education, and financial support for operations and priority student initiatives. Bank of the West will also offer faculty, staff, and students banking products and services with special benefits. The agreement does not provide guaranteed banking business to Bank of the West. The “Official Bank of UC Berkeley” will not be able to market credit card products to students.

This new agreement is one of the most comprehensive relationships of its kind in the country, providing more than $17 million in revenue. An additional $13 million will be invested in the on-campus branch and ATMs, operations and maintenance, banking products and services, and raising the campus community’s awareness about these benefits. As part of the relationship, Bank of the West will invest nearly $300,000 per year in support of student scholarships (or nearly $3.2 million over 10 years), as well as in support of the university’s food assistance program, financial literacy education, and paid student internship opportunities. They will also be the official sponsor of 40 summer camp youth scholarships from the Recreational Sports and Development Fund.

Q: How will the presence of the relationship be visible on campus?

A: To make banking on campus convenient for the campus community, Bank of the West will provide at least seven ATMs across campus and a full-service branch on the first floor of the redesigned ASUC Student Union (to be completed by early 2016). The bank will look to employ UC Berkeley students to staff the branch. In addition to the current seasonal ATMs at Memorial Stadium and Haas Pavilion, Bank of the West is installing the first two new on-campus ATMs at the Student Union and the Haas Business School by the end of 2015.

Information about Bank of the West’s banking products and the relationship benefits that are available to UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff are available at www.bankofthewest.com/ucberkeley and by calling 510-649-9191 or 800-488-2265.

Additionally, Bank of the West will continue to have a presence at California Memorial Stadium and Haas Pavilion through access to stadium signage at Cal games. As with Caltopia and Calapalooza this year, Bank of the West will continue to participate in special campus events.

Q: Who from Berkeley was involved in reviewing and securing this agreement?

A: Bank of the West was selected as the Official Bank of the University of California, Berkeley following a collaborative process that included a competitive request for proposals, gaining input from an engaged working group that included faculty and student representatives, and responding to the areas that the group identified as most meaningful and beneficial to the campus. It was also reviewed and approved by the University Partnership Program's (UPP) advisory and executive committees, which includes a wide range of campus stakeholders and leaders, and the University of California’s Office of the President (UCOP).

BANKING WORKING GROUP

       Athletics: Ashwin Puri and Justin Panarese

       California Alumni Association: Matt Terwilliger

       ASUC Student Union: Kelsey Finn and Theresa Ajari

       Students: Anthony Abril and Raj Bhargava

       Recreational Sports: Joe Watz

       Cal 1 Card: Mary-Ann Spencer Cogan

       Faculty: Nancy Wallace

       Procurement: Stacey Templeman

UPP EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

       Nicholas Dirks, Chancellor

       Claude Steele, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

       John Wilton, Vice Chancellor, Administration and Finance

       Andrew Szeri, OE Program Office Faculty Head, Vice Provost for Strategic Academic and Facilities Planning

UPP ADVISORY COMMITTEE

       Yordanos Dejen, ASUC President

       Claire Holmes, Associate Vice Chancellor of Communications & Public Affairs

       Prof. Ganesh Iyer, Edgar F. Kaiser Chair in Business Administration, Marketing Group at Haas

       Phil Kaminsky, Professor and Department Chair, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research

       Rajiv Parikh, Director of Real Estate

       Bill Reichle, Co-director, Operational Excellence Program Office 

       David Robinson, Associate Campus Counsel

       Maria Rubinshteyn, Director Business Contracts and Brand Protection

       Steve Sutton, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor, Residential & Student Service Programs

       Rich Taylor, Director of Procurement

       Mike Williams, Director of Athletics

       Caroline Winnett, Executive Director, SkyDeck

       Diana Wu, Dean, University Extension

 

Q: How did this idea come about?

A: For many years, various departments and units on the UC Berkeley campus have independently entered into separate contracts with multiple financial institutions. This banking partnership consolidates that effort, identifying one financial institution as the preferred bank of UC Berkeley. This relationship is the result of a collaborative effort that included stakeholder engagement, a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) process, and extensive contract negotiations.

Q: Why did Berkeley choose Bank of the West?

A:  Bank of the West was selected as UC Berkeley’s Official Bank due to the company’s strong alignment with the values and mission of the university. Bank of the West is committed to the communities it serves and looks to support long-term economic growth and opportunities that enhance quality of life, particularly in the community development areas of financial education, workforce development, entrepreneurship and small business development. The Bank is also committed to public service and has been recognized as a Top Corporate Philanthropist in the major markets it serves. In addition, Bank employees give back to their communities through thousands of hours of volunteer service. Beyond community development focus areas, Bank of the West is also a major supporter of the arts, education, health and human services, and college athletics.

Q: Why did Bank of the West decide to partner with Berkeley?

A: Similar to UC Berkeley, the San Francisco-based financial institution is committed to the communities it serves and looks to support long-term economic growth and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for everyone, particularly in the community development areas of financial education, workforce development, entrepreneurship and small business development. In addition, Bank of the West is able to offer banking products well suited to the entire UC Berkeley community, in addition to our on-going support and work with the university, are core foundations of this relationship. Bank of the West is committed to preserving a local focus and our award-winning style of relationship banking that ensures superior customer service.  Bank of the West was built on a passion for customer service and prudent approach to management that advances the interests of our clients and communities. 

Q. Why is the university doing this now?

A: We had two major contracts expiring – California Alumni Association and Athletics – making it the ideal time to consider consolidating the two needs and broadening the package we could offer to financial institutions, while enhancing the banking services we could offer the Berkeley community.

Q: How much revenue will UC Berkeley receive from the agreement?

A: The agreement will provide more than $17 million in revenue and support for priority programs, including student scholarships and internships, financial literacy education, and food assistance. An additional $13 million will be invested by Bank of the West in the on-campus branch and ATMs, operations and maintenance, banking products and services, and raising the campus community’s awareness about the benefits of the relationship.

Q: Where will the revenue from the agreement go?

A: Some of the revenue will be returned to the central campus to fund core operations and a portion will go to support priority student programs. This agreement also provides Bank of the West with an opportunity to contribute to the UC Berkeley community in meaningful ways through philanthropy, financial literacy education, and community engagement.

Some of the highlights of the agreement include:

       Bank of the West will offer at least two, 10-week summer internships for students per year through 2025. In 2016, students will be paid $18.75 per hour, for an estimated total amount of $7,500 per internship.

       The agreement will establish a Bank of the West Bear Opportunity Endowment to provide merit-based scholarships to students with financial need. The UC Berkeley Financial Aid & Scholarships Office (FASO), in consultation with student representatives, will manage this scholarship program.

       Bank of the West will provide financial support to UC Berkeley’s Bears for Financial Success peer-to-peer financial literacy program offering workshops on several topics related to managing personal finances as a college student.

       Bank of the West will support the UC Berkeley Food Pantry Fund, which provides meals to students facing financial challenges and strives to ensure that all students have access to nutritious food.

       Bank of the West will offer UC Berkeley faculty and staff a ‘Bank at Work’ suite of relationship banking products. The program offers preferred pricing, financial education seminars and personal one-on-one meetings on campus to answer financial questions.

In addition, units with marketing assets (such as Cal Alumni Association, Rec Sports, and Intercollegiate Athletics) will receive a share of the revenue for their contributions to the partnership. For example, Athletics will provide Bank of the West with access to stadium and pavilion signage at Cal games, while California Alumni Association will provide promotional space in CALIFORNIA magazine.

Q: Is it all about generating revenue?

A: Generating funds is just one component – it is part of Berkeley’s broader efforts to develop new sources of revenue in the wake of the state’s massive disinvestment in the UC system. But, equally important is streamlining university business and providing the campus community with access to the best possible products and services.

Q: How long is the agreement?

A: 10 years, through 2025.

Q: Will the Cal 1 Card become a bank card with a bank name and logo on it?

A: No. Cal 1 Cards will not be co-branded and cannot be linked to Bank of the West accounts.  While there will be informational materials about Bank of the West services and products available at the Cal 1 Card office and the on-campus branch when it opens, members of the campus community will not be able to sign-up for a Bank of the West account at the office and should instead visit the Berkeley branch to speak with a banker and apply for an account. Bank of the West will periodically be at on-campus events as well and can provide information and begin a new account application in person.  Please visit www.bankofthewest.com/ucberkeley for more information.

Q: What does the Bank gain from the relationship with UC Berkeley?

A: Bank of the West has a strong, long-standing relationship with Berkeley; both as a client and as a sponsor of Cal Athletics. With this expanded relationship, Bank of the West will provide full-service bank offerings to all those involved in the UC Berkeley community – from students and faculty to staff and alumni. The Bank has worked closely with Berkeley as a client for a number of years, and this initiative serves to simply deepen the existing relationship. The Bank’s values align closely with the university and, through our relationship and shared commitment to financial literacy education, Bank of the West is excited about the opportunity to make a positive impact on the campus, such as through the UC Berkeley Food Pantry Fund, which provides emergency food assistance to students in need.

Q: Other banks have been criticized for essentially paying a school to have a monopoly with that school’s students – how is this University Partnership Program different from other relationships that banks have with universities, past and present?

A: We have been very deliberate about making sure that this relationship is beneficial to the university and its students, faculty and staff. We have worked with a wide-range campus stakeholders and incorporated students in the decision making of the agreement, with student representatives present from start to finish throughout the negotiation period. Bank of the West is committed to providing students with products and services that are transparent, low-fee, flexible, and make sense for their demographic. Bank of the West is also supporting programs that matter to the students, such as the UC Berkeley Food Pantry.

At the same time, we are working with Bank of the West to put UC Berkeley students at the top of their class nationwide when it comes to financial literacy and financial education for the future. It’s our hope that we can do our part to give Berkeley students education outside of the classroom that will help them throughout their lives.

Finally, this agreement does not provide guaranteed banking business to Bank of the West. The “Official Bank of UC Berkeley” will not be able to market credit card products directly to students, and Bank of the West will not be involved in financial aid disbursement or have direct access to student records in any way.

Q: Why did UC Berkeley select a bank instead of a credit union?

A: Bank of the West was selected after a competitive request for proposals (RFP). We invited several credit unions to respond to our RFP, but they declined to participate.

 

FAQs For Students

Q: What are the benefits for Students?

A: The UC Berkeley-Bank of the West relationship gives students access to leading banking products/services, scholarships, internships, and financial education that match the culture of excellence they experience at one of the world’s premier public universities. These resources are designed to help them transition into financially responsible adults during college, as well as give them the tools to succeed after graduation. While Bank of the West is not offering student loans, it is committed to making a college education affordable to UC Berkeley students. Through this agreement, Bank of the West will donate more than $1 million over the next 10 years to merit-based scholarships. 

In addition to convenient access to ATMs, branches, online banking and mobile banking services, the relationship offers students a benefits-rich checking and debit card product. This includes a UC Berkeley Student Checking account with no monthly service charge, plus added free benefits not seen in other student checking accounts, including $6 per month of ATM fee reimbursements and debit card rewards.

For more information about student account features, please visit www.bankofthewest.com/ucberkeley.

Q: Are students obligated to bank with Bank of the West?

A: No. It is up to students to choose where they want bank. For students who choose Bank of the West, the Bank is offering a special student account for UC Berkeley students.

Q: Will Bank of the West be involved in financial aid disbursements?

A: No. Bank of the West will not be involved in financial aid disbursement or have direct access to student records in any way. 

Q: Does Bank of the West offer student loans?

A: No.

FAQs FOR EMPLOYEES

Q: What are the benefits for faculty and staff?

A: Faculty and staff can elect to participate in banking products offered at discounted rates, such as loans, bonuses on money market and CDs, as well as mortgage closing cost credits through Bank of the West’s exclusive Bank at Work program.

For more information about relationship products available to UC Berkeley faculty and staff, please visit www.bankofthewest.com/ucberkeley.

Q: My department has a relationship with a different bank. How will this agreement impact existing banking relationships on campus?

A: This relationship does not preclude units from entering into or maintaining non-competing agreements with other financial institutions. Individual units within UC Berkeley have had strong relationships with a variety of financial service partners, including Intercollegiate Athletics, California Alumni Association, and Cal Recreational Sports. This relationship with Bank of the West includes those units and extends to ASUC Student Union and the Cal 1 Card to broaden that reach to more aspects of campus life.

If you work on campus and have a question about how your existing banking relationship aligns with this agreement, please contact Amy Gardner, the University Partnership Program’s director of project affairs at amygardner@berkeley.edu.

Q: Can I set up a meeting with Bank of the West to talk to me or my team about the benefits of the agreement?

A: Yes. If you are interested in setting-up a meeting to learn more about the relationship, please submit your information here and we will follow-up with you to schedule a meeting.