It was in 1893 that Peter Cushman Jones, a 60-year-old businessman, persuaded close friends Joseph Ballard Atherton and Charles Montague Cooke to join him in organizing a new bank in the Islands.
Four years later on December 17, 1897, Bank of Hawaii became the first chartered and incorporated bank to do business in the Republic of Hawaii. The charter was issued by James A. King, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Hawaii, and signed by Sanford Ballard Dole, president of the Republic. Bank of Hawaii operated its first office from a two-story wooden building in downtown Honolulu. Shortly after its incorporation, Bank of Hawaii officially opened to the public on December 27, 1897.
Shaping Hawaii’s Economic Landscape
Bank of Hawaii played an important role in Hawaii’s transition from a territory to a state, remaining at the forefront of expansion. During the 1960s and 1970s, Bank of Hawaii’s growth kept pace with that of the state which provided major support to local agriculture.
Over the years, Hawaii’s service-based economy minimized abrupt changes in the local economy from recessionary periods, compared to states dependent upon manufacturing. Still, Bank of Hawaii saw the need to diversify its customer base beyond Hawaii to reduce vulnerabilities. Bank of Hawaii saw future growth and increased profitability in international banking opportunities. Hawaii’s strategic location in the Pacific made the Asia-Pacific region a natural extension for Bank of Hawaii’s operations.
In the 1970s, the Pacific Rim Region was indeed promising, with trade between the U.S. and Asia outpacing trade between the U.S. and Europe. Over the next 20 years, Bank of Hawaii would establish an international presence to better serve local customers with operations in the Pacific.
Returning to an Island Focus
At the beginning of the new millennium, Bank of Hawaii began to shift its emphasis back to Hawaii and today serves businesses, consumers and governments in Hawaii, American Samoa and the West Pacific. The bank offers customers the most extensive branch, in-store branch, and ATM network of any bank in the state and the convenience of 24-hour telephone and Internet banking services. Bank of Hawaii also remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting the communities it serves.
1893: Peter Cushman Jones, a 60-year-old businessman, persuades his close friends, Joseph Ballard Atherton and Charles Montague Cooke, to join him in organizing a new bank in the Islands.
1897: Bank of Hawaii is the first chartered and incorporated bank to do business in the Republic of Hawaii on December 17. The charter is issued by James A. King, Minister of the Interior of the Republic of Hawaii, and signed by Sanford Ballard Dole, president of the Republic. Bank of Hawaii operates its first office from a two-story wooden building in downtown Honolulu, sharing space with the Hawaiian Safe Deposit & Investment Company, which Peter Cushman Jones established in 1893 with his son, Edwin Austin Jones.
1897: With Peter Cushman Jones serving as Bank of Hawaii’s first president, the bank opens for business with $400,000 in capital with its stock at par value of $100.
1899: Bank of Hawaii establishes a savings department and declares its first dividend.
1903: Bank of Hawaii opens its first branch office in Lihue, Kauai. That branch is still in existence today.
1922: Bank of Hawaii celebrates its 25th anniversary and merges with First Bank of Hilo, acquiring branches in Hilo, Honokaa, Kohala, Kealakekua and Kau.
1922: Bank of Hawaii completes construction of its head office at the corner of Fort and Merchant Streets, a property that had been the home of two of Hawaii’s most respected chieftains, Abner Paki and his wife Konia, parents of Bernice Pauahi and foster parents of Queen Liliuokalani.
1931: The bank’s name officially changes from The Bank of Hawaii, Ltd. to Bank of Hawaii.
Bank employees count U.S. Navy cash deposits. in 1942, Bank of Hawaii was designated as the official depository for the United States Navy, Pacific Theater
1942: Bank of Hawaii is designated as the official depository for the United States Navy, Pacific Theater.
1946: Bank of Hawaii established a Consumer Loan Department, a first for a Hawaii bank.
1947: Bank of Hawaii donates $50,000 to the Honolulu Academy of Arts to commerate the bank’s Golden Anniversary.
1966: Then President Wilson P. Cannon, Jr., a Maui native, kicks off the downtown tradition of Aloha Friday by allowing Bank of Hawaii employees to dress in aloha shirts on Fridays.
1968: Bank of Hawaii moves to new, modern headquarters in the Financial Plaza of the Pacific, located in almost the exact same site as Bank of Hawaii’s office when it was first founded.
1971: Bank of Hawaii’s board of directors votes in favor of creating a bank holding company. The new entity offers shareholders the opportunity to exchange each of their shares in the bank for four shares in Hawaii Bancorporation.
1974: Bank of Hawaii participates in the Hawaii Bankers Association’s Penny Sweepstakes to alleviate the shortage of pennies in Hawaii. Bank of Hawaii offers an Eisenhower dollar for 100 pennies. The successful drive collects 10 million pennies over a three-week period.
1976: Construction of the Hemmeter Center which houses the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Waikiki is completed as a result of a Bank of Hawaii loan for more than $68 million, the largest development loan made in Hawaii at that time.
1976: Bank of Hawaii introduces its bank debit card, the Entree card, as an alternative to making purchases with checks or cash.
1979: Bank of Hawaii’s parent company launches a comprehensive corporate identity program that more closely links its name to Bank of Hawaii. Shareholders overwhelmingly approve Hawaii Bancorporation, Inc.’s name be changed to Bancorp Hawaii, Inc. As part of the corporate identity program, the names of other subsidiaries are changed: Finance Hawaii, Inc. to Bancorp Finance of Hawaii, Inc.; Hawaii Bancorporation Leasing Inc. to Bancorp Leasing of Hawaii, Inc.; Hawaii Computer Services, Inc. to Bancorp Computer Services of Hawaii, Inc.
1979: Bank of Hawaii adopts a new logo that symbolizes its roots in Hawaii and unifies the various Bancorp companies.
1982: Bank of Hawaii becomes the first bank in the state to operate an off-premise ATM, installed at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard.
1982: Bank of Hawaii becomes the first financial institution in Hawaii to establish an international banking facility (IBF) within Hawaii allowing Bank of Hawaii to better compete with off-shore financial centers dealing with Eurodollar and Asia-dollar markets.
1984: Bank of Hawaii opens a branch in Kosrae, Micronesia.
1985: Bancorp receives regulatory approval to acquire Hawaiian Trust, the state’s largest trust institution, which becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bancorp and operates as a separate company.
1986: Bank of Hawaii completes its acquisition of Bank of America branches in Guam, and the combined operations with Bank of Hawaii’s existing branches make the bank Guam’s largest lender.
1988: U.S. Banker Magazine ranks Bancorp #1 in performance among the nation’s largest bank holding companies, calling it a “near-perfect banking company” based on performance ratings for risk and return.
1990: Bank of Hawaii completes its acquisition of FirstFed America, Inc., including its three savings and loan subsidiaries, which has operations primarily in Hawaii, Guam and Saipan.
1991: Bancorp begins trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “BOH.”
1991: Bank of Hawaii announces plans to construct a new 248,000-square-foot facility in a new urban center, The City of Kapolei, referred to as the Second City.
1991: Bancorp receives approval to establish a full-service securities brokerage firm, Bancorp Investment Group.
1991: Bank of Hawaii reintroduces its bank debit card, Bankoh Access Card, which is accepted at most supermarkets in Hawaii.
1993: Bank of Hawaii completes acquisition of American Financial Services, Inc., the trust holding company for American Trust Co. of Hawaii, Inc. and Bishop Trust Company, Limited. The operations are combined with Hawaiian Trust Company, Limited, the bank’s trust and investment company.
1993: Bank of Hawaii forms a new Investment and Trust Services Group that includes Pacific Capital Management, a newly formed institutional money management company.
1993: Pacific Capital Funds offers a family of proprietary mutual funds.
1997: On its centennial celebration, Bank of Hawaii changes its name to Pacific Century Financial Corporation to reflect its ongoing commitment to the Asia-Pacific region.
1998: Bank of Hawaii develops e-Bankoh, online financial services to enhance electronic banking, and is the first bank in the state to offer online banking. The Web site ranks fifth overall among the nation’s top banks.
1998: Pacific Century begins the implementation of “New Era” initiatives, a two-year blueprint to transform the organization into a client-centered, performance-based financial services provider for the 21st century. It represents the most comprehensive redesign undertaken by the bank.
2000: Bank of Hawaii introduces BranchConcierges in selected Bank of Hawaii branches statewide to introduce clients to banking options and products and services.
2000: Bank of Hawaii introduces a range of electronic banking solutions including e-Bankoh for Business, a free Internet banking service for small businesses. The bank also launches an Internet-based cash management service for 24-hour-a-day, secure access to real-time account information.
2002: Pacific Century Financial Corporation is changed to Bank of Hawaii Corporation to reflect the renewed emphasis on the core market.
2005: Bank Director Magazine names Bank of Hawaii as the top performing bank.
2006: Bank of Hawaii introduces the first broadband wireless ATM in the Islands through a partnership with Sprint Hawaii, offering customers fast, convenient and secure access to their accounts at these portable ATMs.
2007: U.S. Banker Magazine ranks Bank of Hawaii the #1 performing large bank in America.
2007: Forbes Magazine rates Bank of Hawaii #1 in deposit gathering efficiency.
2007: BOH introduces state’s first wireless mobile banking service for customers who have Internet access on their mobile phones or personal digital assistants (PDAs).
2008: Bank of Hawaii introduces iCapture, a service that allows business customers to deposit checks without having to take them to the bank.
2008: In the midst of concern about the safety and soundness of financial institutions, Moody’s Investors Service gives Bank of Hawaii one of the highest ratings possible in the banking industry for financial strength. Bank of Hawaii is ranked #2 in the country by the American Bankers Association Journal for its performance among the Top 25 performing banks with total assets of more than $3 billion. MSN Money lists Bank of Hawaii as one of the “5 banks safe from the storm.”
2009: Bank of Hawaii introduces its Bank of Hawaii Smart Money Seminars to the public on Feb. 28, free financial education on a wide range of financial and investment topics.
2009: ABA Banking Journal ranks Bank of Hawaii the top performing bank in the country among banks with assets of more than $3 billion.
2009: In December, Forbes Magazine names Bank of Hawaii the “Best Bank in America.”
2010: Bank of Hawaii enters into a unique marketing arrangement with China UnionPay, China’s leading credit card provider. As part of the arrangement, BOH will accept China UnionPay cards at all of its ATMs. This is China UnionPay’s first joint market development agreement with a U.S. financial institution.
2010: Bank of Hawaii completes enhancements to its investment platform. The platform offers global investment expertise and leading-edge technology for integrated portfolio management and analytics, while maintaining customized local service through its wealth management professionals.
2010: In June, Bank of Hawaii becomes the first major bank in Hawaii to launch an iPhone application.
2010: In December, Forbes Magazine names BOH as the “Best Bank in America” for the second year in a row.
2011: To celebrate the successful launch of the Bank of Hawaii Giving Campaign in 2010, the Bank of Hawaii Foundation matches donations from BOH employees and retirees for a combined total donation of $1 million to 20 local nonprofit organizations.
2011: Bank of Hawaii and Brigham Young University-Hawaii partner to create the Pacific Island Banking Scholars Program, a school-to-work program aimed to develop business and leadership skills for students from American Samoa, Saipan and Guam.
2011: The Bank of Hawaii Foundation donates $100,000 to PBS Hawaii to be the exclusive Hiki Nō broadcast and webcast underwriter.
2011: BOH opens new branch in Safeway Hilo and moves its University Branch to a new location, renamed Moiliili Branch.
2011: For the third year in a row, Forbes magazine names Bank of Hawaii as one of the top banks in the country, ranking BOH No. 2.
2012: ABA Banking Journal, names BOH the nation’s top performing bank among the largest public and private banks and thrifts (those with assets of $10 billion or more).
2012: BOH launches Hawaiian language capability at more than 400 Bank of Hawaii ATMs across the state.
2012: BOH celebrates the grand opening of a new branch in the Kona Commons Shopping Center on June 25.
2013: BOH Chairman, President and CEO Peter S. Ho elected to Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Board of Directors.
2013: For the fourth year in a row, Forbes magazine names Bank of Hawaii as one of the top banks in the country, ranking BOH No. 2.
2013: BOH opens an in-store Safeway Kapahulu branch in March.
2013: Bank of Hawaii relocates Ward Plaza Branch to Hokua Tower.
2013: Bank of Hawaii’s social media activities rank among the top 30 U.S. banks by The Financial Brand’s “Retail Banking Social Media Power 100.”
2013: For the third consecutive year, ABA Banking Journal names Bank of Hawaii as one of the nation’s top performing banks among the largest public and private banks and thrifts (those with assets of $10 billion or more).
2013: CEO of Hawaii Pacific Health Raymond Vara elected to Bank of Hawaii Board of Directors.
2013: For the third straight year, the Financial Services Roundtable recognizes Bank of Hawaii’s commitment to volunteerism, community service and financial literacy with its national Community Service Leadership Award.
2014: For the fifth year in a row, Forbes magazine names Bank of Hawaii as one of the top performing banks in the country, ranking BOH No. 5.
2014: ABA Banking Journal names Bank of Hawaii the top performing bank in the nation for 2013 among the largest public banks and thrifts. BOH rose in ranking from its No. 2 position the prior year.
2014: Bank of Hawaii introduces complimentary FICO® Scores for its consumer credit cards in partnership with Barclaycard US.
2014: BOH is named one of Hawaii’s “Best Places to Work” by Hawaii Business magazine, plus No. 1 Healthiest Employer and No. 3 Family-Friendly Employer.
2014: Victor K. Nichols is elected to serve on the BOH board of directors, effective July 25.
2014: New Bank of Hawaii Foundation scholarship awards a total of $91,000 to children and grandchildren of BOH employees.
2014: For the fourth year in a row, the Financial Services Roundtable recognizes Bank of Hawaii’s commitment to volunteerism, community service and financial literacy with its national 2013 Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award.
2014: The American Bankers Association recognizes Bank of Hawaii with the ABA Community Commitment Award in the Community and Economic Development category.
2014: Bank of Hawaii offers Apple Pay to Hawaiian Airlines credit card customers.
2014: Bank of Hawaii is named No. 2 among the 100 largest U.S. banks and thrifts by Forbes magazine.
2015: Bank of Hawaii offers Apple Pay to BOH debit card customers.
2015: BOH is named one of Hawaii’s “Best Places to Work” by Hawaii Business magazine, plus No. 3 Family-Friendly Employer.
2015: Bank of Hawaii becomes the first local bank to offer an alternative account to traditional checking in the state of Hawaii. Called EASE by Bank of Hawaii, the account is among the lowest fee bank accounts in the U.S. compared to similar accounts offered by national banks.
2015: BOH announces the introduction of EMV chip technology in all of its debit cards, providing enhanced security against fraud.
2015: For the fifth year in a row, the Financial Services Roundtable recognizes Bank of Hawaii’s commitment to volunteerism, community service and financial literacy with its national Corporate Social Responsibility Leadership Award.
2015: Bank of Hawaii opens in-store Safeway Lihue Branch.
2016: Bank of Hawaii introduces the state’s first set of local emoji, called Hawaiimoji through a new app.
2016: Bank of Hawaii celebrates its 10th annual Community Walk at Kapiolani Park, raising $111,780 for Mental Health America of Hawaii, Waikiki Health and Hale Kipa and YWCA of O‘ahu.
2016: Bank of Hawaii Foundation pledges $100,000 to create the Bank of Hawaii Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation at University of Guam.
2016: BOH is named one of Hawaii’s “Best Places to Work” by Hawaii Business magazine, plus No. 3 Family-Friendly Employer.
2016: Chairman, President and CEO Peter Ho receives the Naval Heritage Award from the United States Navy Memorial Foundation on May 26. Mr. Ho is only the second Hawaii resident to be honored with this award; former U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye was an award recipient in 2006.
2016: Bank of Hawaii offers Android Pay and Samsung Pay to BOH debit card customers.
2016: Bank of Hawaii announces its new College Assistance Program (CAP) for employees; it offers tuition reimbursement through Chaminade University toward obtaining a first bachelor’s degree.
2016: Bank of Hawaii becomes the first bank in the state of Hawaii to offer Cardless Cash, allowing consumer customers to withdraw cash from BOH ATMs by using the BOH Mobile Banking app.
2016: In November, Bank of Hawaii opens first “Branch of Tomorrow” with newly renovated Pearl City Branch; it includes new technological enhancements, including W-Fi, tablets and digital screens, with personal spaces/conference rooms to interact with bank personnel.
2017: CEO of Hawaii Gas Alicia Moy elected to Bank of Hawaii Board of Directors in January.
2017: Bank of Hawaii opens second “Branch of Tomorrow” in Hawaii Kai in March.
2017: BOH is named one of Hawaii’s “Best Places to Work” by Hawaii Business magazine, plus No. 1 Family-Friendly Employer.
2017: In June, Bank of Hawaii opens third “Branch of Tomorrow” in Kihei and first on a neighbor island.
2017: Bank of Hawaii launches its Hawaiimoji Blitz texting contest, in which schools with the highest usage of its logo stickers through the Hawaiimoji App during specific entry periods of the athletic season can win money for its athletic departments. In total, BOH donates nearly $40,000 for the state’s public schools.
2017: In August, Bank of Hawaii celebrates the fourth “Branch of Tomorrow” with its grand re-opening of its Main Branch in downtown Honolulu. The 5,307 square-foot flagship branch includes a 7 ft. x 33 ft. digital wall, a Welcome Wall with a map of Honolulu, a handcrafted canoe model, bronze relief artwork and a canoe paddle.
2017: Bank of Hawaii celebrates the fifth “Branch of Tomorrow” with the grand opening of its Manoa Branch in December.
2017: Employees and bank retirees raise a record-breaking $722,248 for the 8th annual Live Kōkua Giving Campaign, which supports 24 local nonprofits.
2017: Tax reform helps Bank of Hawaii increases the minimum wage for its employees from $12 to $15 per hour, effective Jan. 1, 2018; BOH also rewards all employees below the senior vice president level with cash bonuses of $1,000.
2018: In January, Bank of Hawaii celebrates the sixth “Branch of Tomorrow” with the grand opening of its Pearlridge Branch.
2018: BOH is named one of Hawaii’s “Best Places to Work” by Hawaii Business magazine, plus No. 1 Healthiest Employer and No. 1 Family-Friendly Employer.
2018: Bank of Hawaii Announces Collaboration Agreement with SMBC Trust Bank in Japan in May for private banking clients.
2018: Bank of Hawaii announces plans to construct a new branch and office building to serve as its West Pacific regional headquarters at Chalan San Antonio in Guam.
2018: In December, Bank of Hawaii celebrates the seventh "Branch of Tomorrow" with the grand opening of its Princeville Branch.
2019: Bank of Hawaii ranks No. 4 among U.S. financial institutions and No. 40 overall in the 2019 “100 Most Sustainable Companies list,” published by Barron’s magazine on Feb. 8, 2019. Bank of Hawaii is the only company in Hawaii to be recognized.