Unsafe practices prompt FDIC alert to isle bank


POSTED: Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bank regulators have ordered Ohana Pacific Bank, which opened in 2006 and caters primarily to Hawaii's Korean community, to shore up capital, improve asset quality and maintain adequate liquidity levels.

Ohana Pacific Bank has agreed to a formal enforcement action with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Hawaii Department of Financial Institutions.

In a cease-and-desist order made public on Friday, FDIC and the state agency said the bank's managers and board of directors failed to provide adequate supervision. Among the unsafe banking practices cited were inadequate capital, inadequate loan valuation and poor-quality loans.

“;Ohana Pacific Bank has started to work toward full compliance with the enforcement action and has already developed and initiated a number of programs to this end,”; the company said in a press release.

The bank will continue to provide customers with a full range of deposit and loan products, the company said.

“;All customer deposits remain fully insured to the highest levels established by the FDIC,”; Ohana Pacific said.

While other isle banks have received similar citations in the past, Ohana Pacific is the first in this economic cycle, said Nick Griffin, commissioner of the state Division of Financial Institutions.

“;We have had some that have been subject to cease-and-desist orders in the past, but for other reasons,”; Griffin said. “;For this one the focus is that the capital in the bank needs to be increased, and they have to address some problem loans.”;

However, Ohana Pacific is not alone, Griffin said. Many U.S. banks have received similar enforcement actions during this cycle, he said.

“;It's not a positive thing, certainly; however, bank depositors should look at this with the idea that the objective of the financial institution and the regulators is to work closely to follow the agreement,”; Griffin said.

Since FDIC insurance coverage differs among institutions, prudent depositors should check the FDIC Web site, http://www.fdic.gov, to ensure that their assets are properly protected, Griffin said.

As of Sept. 30, Ohana Pacific reported assets of nearly $75 million and listed its liabilities at nearly $66 million.