Bank Of Hawaii To Shut Down FSM And Marshall Islands Branches November 29

by Masaleen P. Sehpin

KOLONIA, Pohnpei (The Kaselehlie Press): September 5, 2002 - As previously announced last February, the Bank of Hawaii will be closing down its FSM branches - Kosrae, Pohnpei and Yap - and its Majuro branch in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

The closing date is now set for Friday, November 29, 2002.

According to information given to Kaselehlie Press News, Bank of Hawaii's West Pacific Division Manager Ronald H. Leach, said the bank had attempted to identify additional financial opportunities in the FSM and the Marshall Islands, to enable these four branches to increase their earnings to meet the newly established shareholders goal of doubling share value every four years.

When that prove impossible, the Bank sought buyers. Four out of seven financial institutions replied to a Bank of Hawaii offer, but none showed interest to buy the branches," said Leach.

This led to the decision to shut down the four branches, which will affect more than 40 employees.

"The four bank branches have not only not produced the desired return when the cost of capital and the level of risks are factored into the equation of doing business in these remote islands. They are actually negative after adjusted for risks;" Leach indicated.

All Bank of Hawaii accounts - personal, commercial and government - will be maintained, serviced and monitored as usual during this transition.