Cathay General Bancorp was organized in 1990 under the laws of the State of Delaware. The Company is the holding company of Cathay Bank, a California state-chartered commercial bank, six limited partnerships investing in affordable housing investments in which the Bank is the sole limited partner, and GBC Venture Capital, Inc. As a commercial bank, the Bank accepts checking, savings, and time deposits, and makes commercial, real estate, personal, home improvement, automobile, and other installment and term loans. The Company's operation segmentation is determined by loan type and common risk characteristics. Loans are grouped into 23 segments: two commercial segments, ten commercial real estate segments, three residential construction segments, three non-residential construction segments, one SBA segment, one installment loans segment, one residential mortgage segment, one equity line of credit segment, and one overdrafts segment. Commercial mortgage loans are typically secured by first deeds of trust on commercial properties. Commercial loans consist of short-term loans (normally with a maturity of up to one year) to support general business purposes, or to provide working capital to businesses in the form of lines of credit to finance trade. SBA's primary loan program and which can be used for financing of a variety of general business purposes such as acquisition of land and buildings, equipment, inventory and working capital needs of eligible businesses generally over a 5- to 25-year term. The single-family-residential mortgage loans are comprised of conforming, nonconforming, and jumbo residential mortgage loans, and are secured by first or subordinate liens on single (one-to-four) family residential properties. The Bank's real estate construction loan activity focuses on providing short-term loans to individuals and developers, for the construction of multi-unit projects. The Bank offers variable-rate home equity lines of credit that are secured by the borrower's home. Installment loans tend to be fixed rate and longer-term (one-to-six year maturities) are also offered by the Bank. As of December 31, 2013, the Bank had branch offices in Southern California (21 branches), Northern California (11 branches), New York (eight branches), Massachusetts (one branch), Texas (two branches), Washington (three branches), Illinois (three branch locations and one drive-through location), New Jersey (one branch), Nevada (one branch), and Hong Kong (one branch) and a representative office in Shanghai and in Taipei. Through Cathay Wealth Management, the Bank provides its customers the ability to trade securities online and to purchase mutual funds, annuities, equities, bonds, and short-term money market instruments. The Bank mainly services individuals, professionals, and small to medium-sized businesses in the local markets. In California, one larger Chinese-American bank competes for loans and deposits with the Bank. In addition, there are many other Chinese-American banks in both Southern and Northern California. Banks from the Pacific Rim countries, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China also continue to open branches in the Los Angeles area, thus increasing competition in the Bank's primary markets. The Bank's operations are subject to regulation and restrictions by federal and state laws and regulatory agencies.
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