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Minority Banking Timeline


Betty Tom Chu

Betty Tom Chu"Betty Tom Chu was one of the founders of the East West Federal Bank in 1973. The bank was the first federally chartered savings institution primarily serving the Chinese-American community in Los Angeles. The other organizers and founders of the East West Federal Bank were F. Chow Chan, Richard K. Quan, Gilbert L. Leong, Philip Chow, John A. Nuccio, Christopher L. Pocino, and John M. Lee.

Born and raised in San Diego, Chu's goal was to become a lawyer, and she graduated from law school in the top 10 percent of her class. In addition to her law career, she assisted in founding several banks, including the East West Federal Bank and the Trust Savings Bank in 1981. For the latter, she became the first female chairperson and chief executive officer of a savings bank in the United States. She became heavily involved in financial institutions because she felt that too often Chinese people were not even given the opportunity of being denied a loan because they were denied the application form.


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