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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, January 28, 2010

First Hawaiian earns record $230.5 million

BY Rick Daysog
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Don Horner

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Despite a weak local economy, First Hawaiian Bank posted record earnings of $230.5 million last year.

The state's largest bank said its 2009 net was up 3.6 percent from the year-earlier period.

Fourth-quarter income jumped 13.6 percent to $48.3 million thanks to a one-time tax gain. Minus that one-time gain, the bank's net was up 2.2 percent.

"Historically, it's the best year we have had," Don Horner, First Hawaiian Bank's chairman and CEO, said by phone yesterday. "2010 looks like a solid year for us."

Assets, loans and deposits were all up last year, while nonperforming assets and delinquencies were below those at other national and local banks.

Total assets increased 6.7 percent to $13.7 billion while loans and leases were up 1.2 percent, topping the $8 billion mark for the first time.

Deposits rose 9.1 percent to more than $10 billion.

Nonperforming assets remained one of the lowest in the nation, at 0.27 percent of total assets.

In addition to posting record income, First Hawaiian was the state's largest real estate and home equity lender and made more auto loans than all other local banks combined last year, the company said.

"Overall, the bank remains committed and well positioned to support our customers through an anticipated sluggish 2010," Horner said.

Founded in 1858, First Hawaiian is the state's oldest financial institution. It operates 58 branches in Hawai'i, two in Saipan and three in Guam.