Magazine article American Banker

Pacific Century Chief Credit Officer Plans to Retire This Year

Magazine article American Banker

Pacific Century Chief Credit Officer Plans to Retire This Year

Article excerpt

Pacific Century Financial Corp., which said last week that its earnings would be hit by increased credit provisions for bad loans, will have a new chief credit officer by yearend.

Robert Paris, who currently holds that position, has told executives that he will retire. The company is searching "internally and externally" for a successor, said Richard J. Dahl, president of the Honolulu holding company for Bank of Hawaii, the state's largest bank.

Mr. Paris' plan to retire was "not connected to the earnings announcement," Mr. Dahl said. Staff changes in the unit that analyzes credit risk will not take place immediately, he said.

However, he admitted in a telephone interview that a new chief credit officer "presents a new opportunity for people to make some changes."

The $14.3 billion-asset holding company had already touched on the question of personnel and its credit quality in the wake of its disappointing earnings report this month. Executives tried to reassure investors that they were doing everything in their power to clean up the company's spotty loan book.

Pacific Century's second-quarter net income plunged 81%, largely because of an $83.4 million credit provision to cover higher loan losses and nonperforming assets, it said. Its stock, which uses the ticker symbol BOH, has fallen 6% since the earnings report last Thursday.

"I want to emphasize that significant action in the second quarter has not been taken lightly," Lawrence M. Johnson, Pacific Century chairman and chief executive officer, said in a conference call last week.

In addition to a review of the loan portfolio, "reporting relationships have been realigned, which provides very senior lending persons the ability to dedicate substantial time and effort to focus on lending problems," Mr. Johnson told analysts. …

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