The Finance Owl

Banks – Loans – Mortgages – Money



First Hawaiian BankFirst Hawaiian Bank, a subsidiary of BancWest Corporation, which itself is a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, is a regional commercial bank headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii at the First Hawaiian Center which was opened in 1996. With a total of 63 branches in Hawaii, three in Guam and two in Saipan as of July 2008 it is reported to have $12.9 billion in assets.

First Hawaiian Bank provides commercial and consumer banking services engages in equipment and vehicle leasing and offers trust, investment and insurance services.

History of First Hawaiian Bank

Founded in 1858, local businessmen, Charles R.Bishop and William A.Aldrich opened Bishop & Co. a banking partnership under the laws of the Kingdom of Hawaii. At the time Whaling was the main industry in the port and Bishop saw a need for a local bank. The bank did well from day one, offering an interest rate of 8% on deposits, it took in $4784.25.

By 1910, the bank had total assets of $4.8 million and went on to open branches in Hilo, Kauai, at Waimea, Kona, and Lanai. In 1919, Bishop and Co. had been incorporated as Bank of Bishop & Co., Ltd.  An Acquisition of the Bank of Honolulu in 1920 resulted in assets totalling $17.1 million.


In 1929, its name was changed to Bishop First National Bank of Honolulu before switching again in 1933 to Bishop First National Bank of Hawaii at Honolulu. In 1956, the bank became Bishop National Bank of Hawaii before changing to First National Bank of Hawaii in 1960. Finally, in 1969, it became First Hawaiian Bank. First Hawaiian, Inc. was formed as a holding company for First Hawaiian Bank in 1974.

First Hawaiian’s Expansion through the 1990s

  • 1991 – First Hawaiian acquired First Interstate Bank of Hawaii which had $858 million in assets and 20 branches.
  • 1992 – The acquisition of East West Bank resulted in First Hawaiian Bank taking on one branch in Honolulu and one on Maui.
  • 1993 – Another acquisition Pioneer Federal Savings Bank with 19 branches and $600 million in assets continued to operate as a separate institution.
  • 1996 – 31 branches were acquired from U.S.Bancorp in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. A new subsidiary called Pacific One Bank was established and chartered in Oregon. In the same year First Hawaiian acquired ANB Financial Corporation owner of American National Bank in central Washington State, which went on to become part of Pacific One Bank.
  • 1997 – Pioneer Federal was now merged into First Hawaiian Bank.
  • 1998 – First Hawaiian Creditcorp, formerly known as Thrift & Loan in 1975, was merged into First Hawaiian Bank. In the same year First Hawaiian Bank merged with Bank of the West, a former subsidiary of BNP and First Hawaiian, Inc. was renamed BancWest Corporation.

First Hawaiian Bank and the 21st Century

By 2001, BNP Paribas completed an acquisition of 55% of BancWest stock that it did not own making BancWest Corporation a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas. In 2003, it was said that First Hawaiian Bank was Hawaii’s largest bank with regard to assets.