Bank of the West Commits $200,000 to Japan Relief

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SAN FRANCISCO — Bank of the West announced Thursday it is contributing up to $200,000 to help the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The bank is providing $100,000 in direct support to relief and recovery efforts and encouraging team members to consider personal contributions that will be matched up to an additional $100,000.

To further support the Japanese people during this critical period, Bank of the West is waiving fees for its customers on money transfers from the U.S. to Japan. Customers can make transfers from any Bank of the West branch through April 30.

This support is part of an integrated response to the disaster on the part of the bank’s parent company, the BNP Paribas Group, which has committed more than $1.2 million to help the survivors of the disaster, including a $100,000 donation from Bank of the West’s sister company, First Hawaiian Bank.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan as they manage through the impact of the recent earthquakes and tsunami,” said Michael Shepherd, chairman and CEO of Bank of the West. “On behalf of our 10,000 team members, we want to express our sympathy and support the vital relief efforts in Japan.”

Bank of the West will donate $50,000 to the Japan Society of Northern California’s Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund and $50,000 to the Japan America Society of Southern California’s 2011 Japan Relief Fund. The bank is also encouraging team members to contribute to non-profit relief efforts and has set aside $100,000 to match individual donations of up to $1,000 per team member.

First Hawaiian Bank has established the Japan-Hawaii Relief Fund with a donation of $100,000. Contributions to the fund will be donated to the Japan-America Society of Hawaii’s Japanese Red Cross benefit fund. Contributions to this Fund may be made at First Hawaiian Bank branches through March 31.

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