East West Bancorp, Inc. (referred to herein on an unconsolidated basis as "East West" and on a consolidated basis as the "Company", "we", or "EWBC") is a bank holding company incorporated in Delaware on August 26, 1998 and is registered under the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, as amended ("BHC Act"). The Company commenced business on December 30, 1998 when, pursuant to a reorganization, it acquired all of the voting stock of East West Bank (the "Bank"), which became its principal asset. In addition to the Bank, East West has six subsidiaries as of December 31, 2018 that were established as statutory business trusts for the purpose of issuing junior subordinated debt to third party investors. East West also owns East West Insurance Services, Inc. ("EWIS"). In the third quarter of 2017, the Company sold the insurance brokerage business of EWIS for $4.3 million, and recorded a pre-tax gain of $3.8 million. EWIS remains a subsidiary of East West and continues to maintain its insurance broker license.
East West's principal business is to serve as a holding company for the Bank and other banking or banking-related subsidiaries that East West may establish or acquire. As a legal entity separate and distinct from its subsidiaries, East West's principal source of funds is, and will continue to be, dividends that may be paid by its subsidiaries. As of December 31, 2018, the Company had $41.04 billion in total assets, $32.07 billion in total loans (including loans held-for-sale, net of allowance), $35.44 billion in deposits and $4.42 billion in total stockholders' equity.
As of December 31, 2018, the Bank has three wholly-owned subsidiaries. The first subsidiary, E-W Services, Inc., is a California corporation organized by the Bank in 1977 to hold properties used by the Bank in its operations. The second subsidiary, East-West Investment, Inc., primarily acts as a trustee in connection with real estate secured loans. The remaining subsidiary is East West Bank (China) Limited, a banking subsidiary in China.