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LOS ANGELES, Dec. 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — Bank of the West is proud to announce its collaboration with national nonprofit Operation HOPE in bringing the nonprofit's seventh HOPE Inside Center to California. Through this joint effort, a HOPE Inside Center is now co-located inside Bank of the West's Pico Rivera Branch and offers financial education programs and a dedicated certified counselor to support the community in the areas of first-time homeownership, small business development and personal money management. All services are offered free of charge and available to the general public.

"Bank of the west is proud that the very first HOPE Inside Center was opened in our West Oakland branch in 2005," said Michael Shepherd, chairman and CEO of Bank of the West and member of Operation HOPE's Global Board since 2010. "We are pleased to continue our support of this community development initiative."

Through its 18 nationwide locations, the HOPE Inside Centers reach a diverse cross section of consumers and age ranges. In the just the period between January and August 2014, the combined HOPE Inside Centers have supported more than 34,000 individuals through programs including the Small Business Empowerment Program, 700 Credit Score Community, First-time Home Buyers Program, HOPE Business in a Box Academy.

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Posted by Natasha Eldridge, Office of the Chairman

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