Bank Of Hawaii Extends Stay In Marshalls, Federated States Of Micronesia

by Giff Johnson

MAJURO, Marshall Islands (Marianas Variety): June 21, 2002 - The Bank of Hawaii has delayed its departure from the Marshall Islands and Micronesia.

In a statement, Bank of Hawaii executive vice president for the West Pacific Region Ron Leach said the bank has moved its target date for sale of its Marshall Islands and Federated States of Micronesia branches to Sept. 30.

In February, Bank of Hawaii had announced plans to sell its branches by June 28. The bank has branches in Majuro, Pohnpei, Kosrae and Yap that it is selling as part of a contraction that started more than a year ago with the closure of branches in the South Pacific, Asia and the U.S. west coast. The bank is maintaining branches on Guam, Saipan and Palau.

"The new date has been established so the bank may continue its ongoing dialog with a number of parties regarding the future of these West Pacific branches," he said. "When we made the divestiture announcement in February, we knew that the June date was aggressive. We understood that there was a possibility that we would need to extend the time period to be successful."

Leach added that "rather than pushing the process we believe it is appropriate to extend the date to allow for the best possible outcome to this process."

Leach commended the bank staff for "their hard work these past four months," and praised them for doing an "exceptional job in maintaining their customers' confidence."

He also thanked the bank's customers for their patience with the bank since the announcement of the planned sale.