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East West Bank Announces Agreement to Sell Desert Community Bank Branches to Flagstar Bank, FSB

PASADENA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- East West Bancorp, Inc. (“East West” or the “Company”) (Nasdaq: EWBC), parent company of East West Bank, today announced that East West Bank has entered into a purchase and assumption agreement to sell its Desert Community Bank (“DCB”) branches and related assets and liabilities to Flagstar Bank, a subsidiary bank of Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (“Flagstar”) (NYSE: FBC).

Desert Community Bank consists of eight branches located in the High Desert area of California, and has been operating as a separate division of East West Bank for ten years. The purchase and assumption agreement includes all eight branches, approximately $70 million in loans and $600 million in deposits. Following the sale, DCB will retain its name and continue to operate as Desert Community Bank, a division of Flagstar Bank.

Dominic Ng, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of East West, stated, “East West is proud to have served the communities in the High Desert area for a decade. Although we are exiting branch banking in this region of California, it was important for us to find a buyer that was committed to retaining the Desert Community Bank name and banking team, and shared our values in providing an outstanding customer experience. With our choice of Flagstar, we believe we found a dedicated partner to support Desert Community Bank’s integral role in the High Desert communities. I am confident that our customers will be well-served by the team at Flagstar.”

The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and satisfaction of customary closing conditions, and is expected to be completed in the first half of 2018. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Sandler O’Neill & Partners, L.P. acted as financial advisor and King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP served as legal counsel to East West Bancorp, Inc.

About East West

East West Bancorp, Inc. is a publicly owned company with total assets of $36.3 billion and is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol “EWBC”. The Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, East West Bank, is one of the largest independent banks headquartered in California. East West is a premier bank focused exclusively on the United States and Greater China markets and operates over 130 locations worldwide, including in the United States markets of California, Georgia, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Texas and Washington. In Greater China, East West’s presence includes full service branches in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Shantou and Shenzhen, and representative offices in Beijing, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Taipei and Xiamen. For more information on East West, visit the Company’s website at www.eastwestbank.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

Certain matters set forth herein (including any exhibits hereto) constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, including forward-looking statements relating to the Company’s current business plans and expectations regarding future operating results. Forward-looking statements may include, but are not limited to, the use of forward-looking language, such as “likely result in,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “estimates,” “forecasts,” “projects,” “intends to,” or may include other similar words or phrases, such as “believes,” “plans,” “trend,” “objective,” “continues,” “remains,” or similar expressions, or future or conditional verbs, such as “will,” “would,” “should,” “could,” “may,” “might,” “can,” or similar verbs. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those projected. These risks and uncertainties, some of which are beyond our control, include, but are not limited to, our ability to compete effectively against other financial institutions in our banking markets; changes in the commercial and consumer real estate markets; changes in our costs of operation, compliance and expansion; changes in the U.S. economy, including inflation, employment levels, rate of growth and general business conditions; changes in government interest rate policies; changes in laws or the regulatory environment including regulatory reform initiatives and policies of the U.S. Department of Treasury, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board System, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and California Department of Business Oversight — Division of Financial Institutions; heightened regulatory and governmental oversight and scrutiny of the Company’s business practices, including dealings with consumers; changes in the economy of and monetary policy in the People’s Republic of China; changes in income tax laws and regulations; changes in accounting standards as may be required by the Financial Accounting Standards Board or other regulatory agencies and their impact on critical accounting policies and assumptions; changes in the equity and debt securities markets; future credit quality and performance, including our expectations regarding future credit losses and allowance levels; fluctuations of our stock price; fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; success and timing of our business strategies; our ability to adopt and successfully integrate new technologies into our business in a strategic manner; impact of reputational risk from negative publicity, fines and penalties and other negative consequences from regulatory violations and legal actions; impact of potential federal tax changes and spending cuts; impact of adverse judgments or settlements in litigation or of regulatory enforcement actions; changes in our ability to receive dividends from our subsidiaries; impact of political developments, wars or other hostilities that may disrupt or increase volatility in securities or otherwise affect economic conditions; impact of natural or man-made disasters or calamities or conflicts or other events that may directly or indirectly result in a negative impact on the Company’s financial performance; continuing consolidation in the financial services industry; our capital requirements and our ability to generate capital internally or raise capital on favorable terms; impact of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act on our business, business practices and cost of operations; impact of adverse changes to our credit ratings from the major credit rating agencies; impact of failure in, or breach of, our operational or security systems or infrastructure, or those of third parties with whom we do business, including as a result of cyber attacks; and other similar matters which could result in, among other things, confidential and/or proprietary information being disclosed or misused; adequacy of our risk management framework, disclosure controls and procedures and internal control over financial reporting; the effect of the current low interest rate environment or changes in interest rates on our net interest income and net interest margin; the effect of changes in the level of checking or savings account deposits on our funding costs and net interest margin; a recurrence of significant turbulence or disruption in the capital or financial markets, which could result in, among other things, a reduction in the availability of funding or increased funding costs, reduced investor demand for mortgage loans and declines in asset values and/ or recognition of other-than-temporary impairment on securities held in our available-for-sale investment securities portfolio; and other factors set forth in the Company’s public reports including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016, and particularly the discussion of risk factors within that document. If any of these risks or uncertainties materializes or if any of the assumptions underlying such forward-looking statements proves to be incorrect, the Company’s results could differ materially from those expressed in, implied or projected by such forward-looking statements. The Company assumes no obligation to update such forward-looking statements.

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East West Bancorp, Inc.
FOR INVESTOR INQUIRIES, CONTACT:
Irene Oh
Chief Financial Officer
O: (626) 768-6360
E: irene.oh@eastwestbank.com
or
Julianna Balicka
Director of Strategy and Corporate Development
O: (626) 768-6985
E: julianna.balicka@eastwestbank.com
or
FOR MEDIA INQUIRIES, CONTACT:
Emily Wang
Director of Marketing
O: (626) 768-6266
E: emily.wang@eastwestbank.com

Source: East West Bancorp, Inc.