Friday, January 12, 2001
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Posted on: Friday, January 12, 2001

GE Capital calls layoffs part of global refocusing

Advertiser Staff

The move by GE Capital Hawaii Inc. to close most of its operations in the Islands is part of the global company’s overall efforts to refocus on the commercial real estate sector, a spokesman said yesterday.

The longtime local lender notified state officials Wednesday that it plans to shut down most of its operations in Hawaii and Guam and lay off most of its employees.

The first phase of the shutdown begins March 6 and will result in the layoff of 39 workers. On Guam, where the company has five employees, three are expected to lose their jobs.

Yesterday, Hal Platzkere, acting director of communications, said 100 jobs will be cut over the next two years.

Platzkere said he could not say how those jobs will be eliminated over the next two years or what severance packages will be offered.

GE Capital Hawaii said its local commercial real estate business, and the 11 people who work there, will not be affected.

"GE Capital is refocusing to concentrate on its core business and, in doing so, we will discontinue our lending activities for equipment and residential real estate on the Islands as well as in Guam," he said. "This change is reflective of the company’s global effort to refocus on the commercial real estate sector."

Current customers should expect no disruption in service. "There will be no disruption to service or administration of our current portfolio," he said.

GE Capital is the financial-services arm of General Electric Co.

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