Hawaii banks report more lending

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii's two biggest banks report higher profits, but also more lending, a change that could prove critical to accelerating the state's economic recovery.

Bank of Hawaii reports a $44 million first quarter profit, up $5 million, or 12 percent, from the same time last year. Assets shrank slightly, to $12.8 billion. Lending grew 5 percent, the bank said Monday.

First Hawaiian Bank reported on Friday it earned a $53 million profit, up $1 million, or 2 percent, from the same time last year. Assets grew to more than $16 billion. Lending grew 3 percent.

In a recovering economy it can be important for businesses to have sufficient access to capital to expand or renovate, so an increase in lending can be significant.

First Hawaiian and Bankoh together control well over half of the entire Hawaii banking market. The next largest, though much smaller than these two, are American Savings Bank and Central Pacific Bank.

Bankoh achieved its profit increase on 2 percent less net interest income and 11 percent less non-interest income. When the first quarter ended it carried almost $5.6 billion in loans and leases.

The banks themselves have no shortage of capital. Both reported substantial increases in deposits, something industry analysts have seen across the entire nationwide banking industry.

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