Saturday, January 20, 2001
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Posted on: Saturday, January 20, 2001

Bank of the Orient to close Kapi'olani branch

By Andrew Gomes
Advertiser Staff Writer

Bank of the Orient will close its Kapiolani branch on March 14, the second branch the bank has closed in Hawaii since acquiring Bank of Honolulu and its four branches late last year.

The bank yesterday said $12 million in account deposits would be transferred to its main branch in downtown Honolulu, where funds would be accessible March 15. All 10 employees at the Kapiolani branch will be reassigned.

Yesterday, bank officials said that over the past few months they have evaluated restructuring.

"We concluded that in order to fulfill our long-term commitment and to succeed in Hawaii, we need to consolidate our operations," Tim Webster, the bank’s regional manager, said in a written statement.

In December, the bank closed the Kaneohe branch, transferring four employees and $2.2 million in deposits to its other three locations. After March 14, Bank of the Orient will have two branches, one downtown and one in Manoa. A company spokeswoman said the bank is not considering further branch closures.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our Kapiolani branch customers and would like to assure them that the consolidation will not affect access to their funds or use of their ATM cards," Webster said.

San Francisco-based Bank of the Orient is a privately held bank with about $470 million in assets and branches in Northern California, China and Honolulu.

It entered the local market in October by buying the insolvent Bank of Honolulu, which had been seized by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Bank of the Orient paid the FDIC almost $2 million in premiums to buy the failed bank’s assets, valued at $52 million, and assume $60 million in federally insured deposits.

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