The Bank of Hawaii Corporation (BOH) is a regional commercial bank headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii. It is Hawaii's second oldest bank and its largest locally owned bank in that the majority of the voting stockholders reside within the state. Bank of Hawaii has the most accounts, customers, branches, and ATMs of any financial institution in the state (although BancWest's First Hawaiian Bank holds a greater number of dollars in deposits). The bank consists of four business segments: retail banking, commercial banking, investment services, and treasury. The bank is currently headed by Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Peter S. Ho.
In 1893, Charles Montague Cooke (1849–1909) with his brother-in-law Joseph Ballard Atherton and business partner Peter Cushman Jones founded Bank of Hawaii. In 1897, it was chartered in the Republic of Hawaii by Interior Minister James A. King. A decade after its founding, in 1903, the bank opened its first branch in Kauai. In 1922, the bank acquired First Bank of Hilo, which had four branches. In 1930, it amalgamated Bank of Maui.
Charles Dexter Lufkin organized First National Bank of Wailuku in 1901. Five years later, he had organized Lahaina National Bank. Then he organized the First National Bank of Paia in 1913. Lastly, in 1917, First National Bank of Paia merged with Lahaina National Bank and First National Bank of Wailuku to form Bank of Maui.
It was not until 1959 that BOH made another novel move when it opened its first Pacific Islands branch on Kwajalein. Two years later, it opened a branch in both Palau and Guam. Ten years later, BOH continued its international expansion by absorbing Bank of American Samoa, which the Navy had established in 1914. That same year, it created Banque de Tahiti as a joint venture between itself and Crédit Lyonnais. The next year, BOH established a branch in Yap. Branches in Ponape and Kosrae followed in the subsequent years.
In 1971, BOH reorganized as a bank holding company named Hawaii Bancorporation. It also continued its expansion outside Hawaii with the establishment of a branch in Saipan. Three years later, BOH and Crédit Lyonnais established another joint-venture, Banque de Nouvelle Calédonie in Nouméa. In 1979, Hawaii Bancorporation changed its name to Bancorp Hawaii. The next year, BOH opened a branch in Tokyo. In 1985, BOH merged with Hawaiian Trust Company. Four years later, BOH finally expanded to the US mainland when it bought First National Bank of Arizona. The next year it continued its expansion in Hawaii with the purchase of FirstFed America, which was a holding company for banks in Hawaii and in Guam.
BOH acquired Wells Fargo Bank's Seoul, Korea, and Singapore operations in 1991. Two years later, it acquired Banque Indosuez's operations in Vanuatu, which became Banque d’Hawaii (Vanuatu). That same year, BOH also opened its first branch in Suva, Fiji in 1993. Branches in Nadi and Lautoka followed. In 1994, BOH acquired Commonwealth Bank of Australia's shares in National Bank of Solomon Islands. BOH also acquired Crédit Lyonnais' holdings in Banque de Nouvelle Calédonie, giving BOH 91 percent ownership.
In 1997, Bancorp Hawaii changed its name to Pacific Century Financial Corporation (PCFC). Banque de Nouvelle Calédonie changed its name to Bank of Hawaii—Nouvelle Calédonie. BOH also purchased Banque Indosuez Nuigini in Papua New Guinea from Banque Indosuez and renamed it Bank of Hawaii (PNG) Ltd. In addition to its main office in Port Moresby, Bank of Hawaii (PNG) also had an office in Lae, PNG's second port city on the Northeast Coast. Indosuez Nuigini was established in 1983 with 49 percent Indosuez participation, 41.5 percent Bank of Papua New Guinea, and the remainder public. PCFC acquired California United Bank. Other Pacific Century subsidiaries included First Federal Savings and Loan Association of America in Hawaii, which later merged into BOH, and Pacific Century Bank and Pacific Century Savings in Arizona.
In 1998, BOH bought 5.4mn convertible notes of Bank of Queensland as part of a strategic alliance giving rise to a true reflecting of the convertible note value into 49% ownership at that time. It also acquired 100 percent of Banque Paribas Pacifique (est. 1972; 3 branches) and 70 percent of Banque Paribas Polynésie (est. 1984; 1 branch). BOH integrated the operations with Bank of Hawaii-Nouvelle Calédonie and Banque de Tahiti, respectively. PCFC merged its two mainland subsidiaries, California United Bank and Pacific Century Bank (in Arizona) into one nationally chartered entity, Pacific Century Bank, headquartered in California. In 1999, BOH bought 5.8mn shares (approx. 10 percent) in Bank of Queensland and it also bought First Federal Savings and Loan from its own holding company. In 2000, PCFC's subsidiary, Pacific Century Bank, sold its nine branches in Arizona to Zions Bancorporation for merger into Zions' subsidiary, National Bank of Arizona.
In 2001, BOH sold its 6.2mn shares and 5.4mn convertible notes in Bank of Queensland. The decision reflected PCFC's new strategic plan, which mandated a focus on the bank's core markets in Hawaii, the West Pacific, American Samoa, and Japan. PCFC sold its Pacific Century Bank (PCB) subsidiary to U.S. Bancorp. The subsidiary had 20 branches in Southern California. BOH sold its shareholding in the Bank of Tonga and Pacific Commercial Bank of Samoa to Westpac. BOH and Westpac both had 30 percent interests in Bank of Tonga and 42 percent interests in Pacific Commercial Bank. BOH sold its operations in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, and Fiji to ANZ. BOH sold its approximately 95 percent share interest in its French Polynesia and New Caledonia operations to France-based Caisse Nationale des Caisses d'Epargne (CNCE). Its operations in French Polynesia included 17 branches of its subsidiary, Banque de Tahiti, and about 265 employees. Its operations in New Caledonia included eight branches of subsidiary Bank of Hawaii-Nouvelle Caledonie and about 190 employees. Lastly, BOH closed its offices in Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, and Taipei.
In 2002, BOH was unable to find a buyer. Therefore, it closed its Majuro branch in the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) and its three branches in Pohnpei, Yap, and Kosrae in the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM). BOH turned over its 51 percent interest in National Bank of Solomon Islands to the government of the Solomon Islands. Pacific Century Financial reverted to the "Bank of Hawaii" name.
Michael O'Neill served as chairman and CEO from November 2000 to 2004, when Allan R. Landon, the president, assumed both additional positions. O'Neill did not take a salary or any bonuses during his three years at the helm, but in 2004 he controlled about 2.73 million — about 5 percent — of the bank's total shares directly or under option. He later served on the board of Citigroup, appointed in 2009. Under Landon’s leadership, the Bank of Hawaii "survived the financial crisis without federal assistance and prospered in its aftermath". In 2010, after retirement from the bank, Landon helped create Community BanCapital of Portland, Oregon, taught at the state universities of Utah and Hawaii and served on the boards of the Public Broadcasting Service and the Smithsonian Institution. In early 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Landon, 65, to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.