Bancorp Hawaii Sets Sights on Private Banking, Trust
Plasencia, William, American Banker
Hawaii's largest banking company, Bancorp Hawaii Inc., is embarking on a major push to get more of its revenues from private banking and personal trust services.
Through an international expansion and a reorganization, the $12.6 billion-asset institution aims to double over five years the portion of revenues it gets from these services, from the 10% it received last year. A key part of the strategy is to do more business with the growing number of wealthy Asians who vacation, buy real estate, and come to live in Hawaii.
"We have thousands of individuals who visit, live, and invest here every year who need these services," said Walter J. Laskey, executive vice president Bancorp Hawaii's lead bank.
By selling private banking and trust services in more offices outside of Hawaii, Bancorp Hawaii wants to make it easier for these people to use the institution "either here or abroad," Mr. Laskey explained.
Until November, Bancorp Hawaii only sold private banking and personal trust services in Hawaii, Guam, Tahiti, Fiji, Tongo, and the Pacific islands of Micronesia.
At that time, the institution began hiring trust and private banking specialists to work in its other nonHawaiian offices - located in Seoul, Manila, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Taiwan, and Saipan.
Since Bancorp Hawaii employs one private banking and trust specialist in each of its nonHawaiian locations, the expansion added six private banking and trust specialists to the 44 who were already selling these services for the company.
Bancorp Hawaii plans to continue its expansion by opening a new office in Bombay by yearend that will sell commercial banking, trust, and private banking services.
The bank also is considering adding more trust and private banking specialists to its foreign offices.
The international expansion was said by some experts to be a smart move.
"It's a fantastic growth area for (foreign) investors," said Daniel Hayden, strategy analyst for the VIP Forum, Washington, which researches private banking. …