Going global in Waikiki
Bank of Hawaii is doubling its floor space in Waikiki by opening an international center and relocating a nearby branch
» Bankoh going international -- Hawaii style
STORY SUMMARY »
Bank of Hawaii, which began closing or selling most of its international branches six years ago, is renewing its focus on international banking again.
This time, though, it's without leaving the state.
Bank of Hawaii will open an international branch in the fourth quarter in Waikiki in the Kalakaua Business Center. The building, on a prime location at the corner of Kalakaua and Beach Walk, will be renamed the Bank of Hawaii Waikiki Center as part of two long-term lease agreements with the Shidler Group.
The bank also plans to relocate its existing Waikiki branch, now at the corner of Kalakaua and Royal Hawaiian, to the ground floor of the bank's new center during the middle of next year. That 8,000-square foot space is currently occupied by the Wyland Gallery, whose lease ends this year.
Bankoh's new International Banking Center will enable the financial institution to consolidate its local international operations under one roof. The branch, the bank's 84th, will be in a 4,600-square-foot space on the third floor of the 2155 Kalakaua Ave. building.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Senior members of Bank of Hawaii's international team, in front of their new Waikiki headquarters at 2155 Kalakaua Ave., are, from left, Yuichi Takabatake, vice president, private banking and trust services; Edward Hu, vice president, Chinese client business; Betty Brow, senior vice president and manager, international client banking; Mike Hara, vice president and manager, Waikiki team leader and Japanese client business; Gina Nakamura, vice president, Korean client business; and Roberto Fortuna, vice president, international commercial. Not pictured is Jerry Tsuda, vice president and manager, international commercial banking. CLICK FOR LARGE
The bank also recently hired Betty Brow, who has more than 20 years of international experience, to head the operations. The international branch will offer deposit services, investment services, payment or remittance services that include foreign currency, and lending services.
Languages that will be spoken at the international branch will be Japanese, Korean, Chinese (both Cantonese and Mandarin), Vietnamese and French.
Al Landon, chairman and chief executive of Bank of Hawaii, said the bank's international operations in Hawaii have long been among the bank's most profitable businesses and that the international center will create an opportunity to capitalize on that sector.
"We think there is an opportunity to improve our profitability and our service to our customers by enhancing our focus there," Landon said.