When Dominic Ng, chairman and chief executive officer of East West Bancorp in San Marino, Calif., learned that the long-distance telephone division of GTE Corp. was seeking to penetrate the Asian-American community, he sprang into action.

East West, a $2.1 billion-asset company that caters to the Chinese- American community, recently launched a joint rewards program with GTE that offers banking and long-distance perks to customers who sign up for personal or business checking accounts.

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