First Hawaiian Bank

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First Hawaiian Bank
Industry Banking
Founded 1858
Headquarters First Hawaiian Center
Area served
United States (Hawaii, Guam, and Northern Mariana Islands)
Key people
Robert S. Harrison, CEO & President
Revenue DecreaseUS$538.9 million (2011)
DecreaseUS$209 million (2011)
Number of employees
2,151 (2011)
Parent BNP Paribas

First Hawaiian Bank is a regional commercial bank headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, at the First Hawaiian Center. It is a subsidiary of French banking company, BNP Paribas. Founded in 1858, First Hawaiian is the oldest and largest (by deposits, loans and total assets) bank in the state of Hawaii, and claims to be the second oldest bank west of the Rockies. First Hawaiian was listed on the NASDAQ in August 2016.

The bank currently operates 58 branches in Hawaii, three in Guam, and two in Saipan. According to FDIC records, as of December 31, 2011, the bank's assets were US$15.8 billion.


  • August 17, 1858: Charles Reed Bishop and his partner, William A. Aldrich, opened Bishop & Co. This was the first successful banking partnership under the laws of the independent Kingdom of Hawaii. Important milestones in the company's history include:
  • 1890: King David Kalākaua chartered the predecessor of the Pioneer Federal Savings Bank.
  • 1895: Samuel M. Damon bought Bishop & Co. from Charles Bishop.
  • 1885: Claus Spreckels and William G. Irwin established a second bank, Claus Spreckels & Co.
  • 1900: First American Bank of Hawaii is established. It was the United States government's depository in the Hawaii Islands.
  • 1906: The Baldwin Bank is founded in Maui.
  • 1910: Bishop & Co. bank opened its first branch in Hilo. Claus Spreckels & Co. incorporated as Bank of Honolulu.
  • 1911: Bishop & Co. opened its first branch on Kauai, at Waimea.
  • 1916: Chinese-American Bank is established as the first bank to serve the Chinese-American community in Hawaii.
  • 1917: The Army National Bank of Schofield Barracks was founded out of a branch of Bishop & Co., and took a national charter.
    Series 1929 US$50 National Bank Note of the Bishop First National Bank of Honolulu, Hawaii, precursor to First Hawaiian Bank
  • 1919: Bishop & Co.incorporated as Bank of Bishop & Co.
  • 1922: The bank acquired Bank of Honolulu.
  • 1923: The bank opened a branch in the Kona district of Hawaiʻi island.
  • 1924: The bank opened a branch on Lanai island.
  • 1929: On 30 January, the bank announced that it was merging with First National Bank of Hawaii, First American Savings Bank, Army National Bank of Schofield Barracks, and Baldwin Bank (Maui). The bank changed its name to Bishop First National Bank of Honolulu. (First National Bank of Hawaii and the First American Savings Bank were an outgrowth of the First American Bank of Hawaii.)
  • 1933: The bank's name became Bishop National Bank of Hawaii at Honolulu.
  • 1956: The bank's name changed yet again, this time to Bishop National Bank of Hawaii.
  • 1966: The bank acquired Cooke Trust Company.
  • 1969: The bank's name became First Hawaiian Bank.
  • 1970: The bank opened its first branch on Guam in Dededo.
  • 1975: First Hawaiian acquired the 11-branch Hawaii Thrift & Loan, which had been in financial difficulty and turned it into First Hawaiian Creditcorp.
  • 1978: The First Hawaiian International Auto Show debuts, with First Hawaiian as its sponsor/backer.
  • 1991: First Hawaiian acquired First Interstate Bank of Hawaii (20 branches, US$858 million assets), which traced its ancestry back through American Security Bank, which had been established in 1935 as a reorganization of Chinese-American Bank.
  • 1992: First Hawaiian acquired East West Bank, which had one branch in Honolulu and one on Maui.
  • 1993: First Hawaiian acquired century-old Pioneer Federal Savings Bank (19 branches, US$600 million assets). It continued to operate as a separate institution.
  • 1996: First Hawaiian acquired 31 branches in Oregon, Washington and Idaho from U.S. Bancorp. It then created a new subsidiary - Pacific One Bank - to hold the branches, with a charter in Oregon.
  • 1996: First Hawaiian acquired ANB Financial Corporation (4 branches, US$71 million assets), owner of American National Bank in central Washington state. American National's branches eventually became part of Pacific One Bank.
  • 1996: First Hawaiian built its new headquarters, the First Hawaiian Center. At 429 ft (131 m), this was the tallest building in Hawaii.
  • 1997: First Hawaiian merged in Pioneer Federal and the next year merged in First Hawaiian Creditcorp.
  • 1998: First Hawaiian merged with San-Francisco-based Bank of the West, former subsidiary of Banque Nationale de Paris (BNP). The surviving company, First Hawaiian, Inc., was renamed BancWest Corporation. Former First Hawaiian, Inc. shareholders owned 55% of BancWest; BNP, former owner of Bank of the West, owned 45%.
  • 2001: First Hawaiian Bank acquired Union Bank of California's branch network in Guam and Saipan (3 branches, US$200 million assets). In December, the French bank, BNP Paribas, completes 100% acquisition of First Hawaiian Bank and its parent company BancWest. Bank of the West and First Hawaiian Bank, however, continued to operate as separate institutions.



Cecil G. Tilton. 1927. The History of Banking in Hawaii. University of Hawaii Research Publications No. 3.

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