Relationships, One Client at a Time


By Joanne Kim

CBB Bank, also known as Commonwealth Business Bank, is among the fastest-growing banks in the United States, having grown by more than 90 percent since the beginning of 2012.

This success is the result of efforts made in a number of different areas, such as our commitment to improving the customer experience through technology, investing in and developing our staff, and creating a caring culture that truly supports one another.

Many factors differentiate CBB Bank from other community banks, but the one factor I would like to emphasize here is how we embrace our “challenger” mentality. We consider ourselves a leader in our market, regardless of our asset size, and we lead from behind. As a challenger brand, we have successfully integrated our sense of willingness to try new things with an organizational commitment to excellence.

CBB Bank
Los Angeles
ROAA in 2015: 1.54 percent
ROAE in 2015: 13.49 percent
Assets: $786 million
Retail locations: Five
Employees: 127
Founded: 2005

Our commitment to excellence is what I credit for our strong performance throughout 2015. CBB Bank takes pride in building financial relationships, one client at a time, and it is the individual goal of every CBB Bank employee to demonstrate this commitment each and every day. This has resulted in professional and personalized services that have allowed us to grow each of our relationships into one that is loyal and mutually beneficial.

My personal goal is not only to maintain our strong performance, but to raise the bar even further. We believe all ambitions must have purpose, and our dedicated team willingly accepts this exciting challenge for the purpose of cementing CBB Bank as a leader in our market. To achieve this goal, we will invest further in developing our talent, leveraging technology to maximize convenience for customers, and continuing to work harder and smarter than our competitors.

There are uncertainties regarding the future of community banks, but many are able to navigate through a challenging environment with agility and competence. We welcome the challenge and the competition, because we see them as opportunities to further distinguish our brand and service quality in the market. What we can expect to see is that well-run organizations will perform better, and community banks must identify new means to hold a competitive advantage in serving the members of our communities.

Most industry experts see FinTech, market disruptors and the millennial generation as key factors that will impact the community banking industry, and I agree with this line of thought. However, it is just as important for community banks to find their true identity in aligning their values with their clients’. The quality of relationship-building capabilities will be the differentiating factor in an industry where larger competitors are breathing down our backs and offering the same, if not more, products.

CBB Bank has successfully adapted to address the market changes and has received national recognition for our strong performance, such as being included in ICBA’s Top-Performing Community Banks for 2015 and being named among the Top 20 Small Business Administration lenders nationwide for three consecutive years. Our commitment to excellence combined with our corporate culture, which allows us to act quickly to opportunities and threats, will continue to provide added benefits for our clients.

We will constantly strive to improve ourselves for the benefit of our clients.

Joanne Kim ( is president, CEO and a member of the board of directors for CBB Bank.