OneWest Bank

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OneWest Bank, N.A.
FoundedMarch 19, 2009
Key people
Ellen Alemany (Chairwoman and CEO of CIT Group and Chairwoman, CEO and President of CIT Bank)
ParentCIT Group

OneWest Bank, a division on CIT Bank, N.A., is a regional bank with over 60 retail branches in Southern California. OneWest Bank specializes in consumer deposit and lending solutions including personal checking and savings accounts, Money Market accounts, CDs, and home loan products. OneWest also offers small business checking, savings, CD and Money Market accounts as well as small business loans and treasury management products and solutions.

In August 2015, OneWest was acquired by CIT Group.[1] CIT (NYSE: CIT) was founded in 1908 is a financial holding company with more than $50 billion in assets. CIT Bank N.A., is the banking subsidiary of CIT Group and includes OneWest Bank and a national direct bank.  


Former OneWest headquarters in Pasadena (2009-2016)

OneWest Bank began operations as a newly formed Pasadena, California-based federal savings bank on March 19, 2009, with its acquisition of certain assets and certain limited liabilities of IndyMac Federal Bank, FSB from the FDIC. The newly formed bank opened its doors with 33 branches and approximately $16 billion of assets.

Since its formation, OneWest Bank has grown through acquisitions from the FDIC of certain assets, loans, and deposits of other California-based financial institutions. On December 18, 2009, OneWest completed the acquisition of the banking operations of First Federal Bank of California, including $6 billion in assets and $5 billion in deposits. On October 4, 2010 OneWest Bank, announced that it had implemented the Principal Reduction Alternative (PRA) loan modification program as outlined under the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). The program aimed to help struggling homeowners by modifying their loans and reducing their monthly mortgage payments. With this announcement, OneWest became one of the first servicers to launch the program.

In November 2010, OneWest Bank, purchased a $1.4 billion multifamily and commercial real estate loan portfolio from Citibank, N.A. The portfolio, which included approximately 600 loans, was a strategic addition to OneWest Bank’s growing Commercial Real Estate lending business.[2]

In February 2010, OneWest Bank entered into a purchase and assumption agreement with the FDIC for acquisition of the deposits and certain assets of La Jolla Bank, FSB. Under the terms of the transaction, OneWest acquired $3.6 billion in assets. The FDIC and OneWest agreed to a loss‐sharing agreement covering a majority of the acquired loans from La Jolla Bank. On February 19, 2010, OneWest acquired all of the deposits and certain assets of La Jolla Bank, FSB, including $4 billion in assets and $3 billion in deposits.[3]

On July 22, 2014 it was announced that CIT Group would be acquiring OneWest Bank for $3.4 billion.[4]

On August 3, 2015, CIT Bank, the U.S. commercial subsidiary of CIT Group Inc., was combined with OneWest Bank, N.A., under the charter of the latter.  The resulting financial institution became known as CIT Bank, N.A.[1]

CIT published a four year Community Reinvestment Act Plan on October 19, 2015 targeting $5 Billion in new lending and investing activities by December 31, 2019. Efforts focus on financial and personal empowerment through affordable housing, single family and multifamily lending, small business lending, economic development, financial education and other outreach activities with the local community.[5]

Awards and Recognition[edit]

In 2017 and 2018, OneWest Bank was named best bank in California by Money Magazine. [6] [7]

In 2018, OneWest Bank was recognized in the 12th Annual Stevie® Awards for Sales & Customer Service in the category of "Customer Service Success - Financial Service Industries." OneWest won a silver award as a result of its One Person at a Time® approach in its branches and the contact center as well as its demonstrated commitment to the Southern California community.[8]

Controversial foreclosures on IndyMac loans[edit]

In enforcing its rights under the loans purchased from IndyMac, OneWest Bank took a much more aggressive approach to foreclosing on properties.

On November 25, 2009, Judge Spinner in Long Island, New York penalized OneWest for their “harsh, repugnant, shocking and repulsive” actions in trying to work out a distressed mortgage, by canceling the debt in favor of the borrower.[9] A year after the New York Judge Spinner wiped away the debt, an appellate panel ruled that the judge had no right to do it. While Judge Spinner ruled that the bank's practices warranted him erasing the homeowners' debt, the appellate judges found that he had no authority to render such a judgment—and did not give the bank fair notice that such consequences were even on the table.[10] After the ruling, in a previously unreported twist, senior OneWest executives reviewing the bank’s past-due mortgages came across a delinquent loan made to the judge, a person familiar with the matter said. The bank asked the judge to recuse himself. He did. Judge Spinner said Wednesday that while he fell behind on his mortgage, this had no bearing on his decision in the Horoskis’ case. After Judge Spinner recused himself, a higher court overturned his decision canceling the Horoskis’ loan. The Horoskis’ home was foreclosed on in 2012 and later sold by the bank. OneWest, now owned by CIT Group Inc., is still trying to get more than $400,000 from Mrs. Yano-Horoski, she said.[11]

On December 8, 2009 OneWest worked with the Hennepin County, Minnesota Sheriff’s department to change the locks on a distressed home despite stating in a Nov. 25 e-mail that they were rescinding both the foreclosure and the sheriffs sale. OneWest Bank said, "You expressed concern that … you and your mother will be evicted from the property. Rest assured, that will not take place …".[12] Changing the locks was done without any court action which bypasses acknowledged and mandated Due Process on home foreclosures in Minnesota.[12]

OneWest Bank stopped originating reverse mortgages which was prior to CIT’s acquisition of the bank. In May 2017, CIT agreed to pay $89 million in settlement claims related to its reverse mortgage program.[13]  

Sale of Financial Freedom and Reverse Mortgage Portfolio[edit]

In October 2017, CIT announced the sale of Financial Freedom, the unit of OneWest Bank that was responsible for servicing reverse mortgages. On June 4, 2018 CIT completed the sale of the Financial Freedom reverse mortgage servicing business and the related reverse mortgage portfolio to an undisclosed buyer. The transaction included the sale of mortgage servicing rights and $879 million of reverse mortgage whole loans and other real estate owned assets as of April 30, 2018. 

"These efforts support our plan to simplify CIT and gain greater efficiency in our business," said Chairwoman and Chief Executive Officer of CIT Ellen R. Alemany in a press release. "We have addressed another legacy issue by exiting the reverse mortgage business, and we have created greater efficiency in our ongoing mortgage operation by partnering with an industry leader to service our portfolio.”[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "CIT Completes Acquisition of OneWest Bank". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  2. ^ "OneWest buys $1.4 billion CMBS portfolio from Citibank". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  3. ^ Kupper, Thomas. "La Jolla Bank fails; OneWest takes over". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  4. ^ Reckard, E. Scott (2014-07-22). "Lender CIT to buy OneWest Bank, formerly IndyMac, for $3.4 billion". LA Times.
  5. ^ "CIT CRA Plan" (PDF).
  6. ^
  7. ^ Leonhardt, Kaitlin Mulhere, Megan. "The Best Bank in Every U.S. State". Money. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  8. ^ "2018 Stevie® Award Winners | Stevie Awards". Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  9. ^ Crowley, Kieran; Wilner, Rich; Mangan, Dan (2009-11-25). "Judge blasts bad bank, erases 525G debt". New York Post.
  10. ^ Crowley, Kieran; Olshan, Jeremy (November 23, 2010). "Couple's foreclose break KO'd". New York Post.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b
  13. ^ "Steve Mnuchin's Former Bank To Pay $89 Million Settlement to U.S." NBC News. Retrieved 2018-11-20.
  14. ^ "CIT Completed Initiatives to Simplify Mortgage Operations". CIT Press Releases. Retrieved 2018-11-20.

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