Central Pacific Financial Corp.'s chief executive, Clint Arnoldus, held the company's canine mascot, Alex, as he waved from the roof of a bank branch yesterday along with Neal Kanda, president. At bottom was Doug Weld, left, chief credit officer, and Ron Migita, chairman.

Hawaii loses
City Bank

The lender's branches formally
reopen under the name of their
new owner, Central Pacific

City Bank branches across the state opened yesterday under the name of new parent company Central Pacific Financial Corp., the final step in the company's $423.1 million acquisition of CB Bancshares Inc.

While the parent companies combined in September, bank branch operations merged yesterday, offering customers a network of 37 branches and 97 automatic teller machines.

Central Pacific Bank Ceremonies at the South Beretania Street branch to mark the transition boasted plenty of firecrackers, enough to scare Central Pacific's "chief loyalty officer" and mascot pooch, Alex.

Now Central Pacific is hoping that loyal City Bank customers will become "fiercely loyal," to the merged product.

"We want to welcome our City Bank customers to the Central Pacific family and send a warm mahalo to all our customers for their support and our employees for their tireless effort in making this transition as seamless as possible," said Central Pacific Chief Executive Clint Arnoldus.

Branches now include 31 on Oahu, two on the Big Island, three on Maui and one on Kauai. The company opened a new branch in Wailuku, Maui, yesterday and relocated its Kapolei branch to 680 Kamokila Blvd.

"We have solidified our position in this marketplace as a financial partner that can offer the products of a powerhouse, while providing the personalized service of a community bank," Arnoldus said.

The merger of the two banks will be good for the community, said Ronald K. Migita, former president and chief executive of CB Bancshares, who now serves as chairman of Central Pacific.

"Together, we are committed to building a community-focused bank dedicated to preserving the needs of our customers and local businesses," Migita said.

The merger, which is expected to save about $19 million by 2006, has strengthened Central Pacific's deposit base, diversified its portfolio, extended market reach and reduced risk, Arnoldus said.

Lillian and George Rudie of Waikiki, former City Bank customers who were among guests at yesterday's ceremonies, said they are looking forward to the change.

"Usually when banks merge, it creates a stronger product," said Lillian Rudie. "I'm looking forward to all the new technology that they plan to bring in and the increased enthusiasm for client services."

Enhanced services for the combined company include residential mortgage lending, trust and investments, business cash management services and equipment leasing, as well as commercial lending in Hawaii, California and the Pacific Northwest, said Blenn Fujimoto, vice president of Central Pacific's Hawaii market.

"Our approach was to combine the best of the best from both banks to produce a broader slate of products for all of our customers," Fujimoto said.

Central Pacific Bank

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