First Hawaiian Bank intends to build new branch offices on Guam — firstly in Tamuning and secondly at an as yet undetermined location.

Honolulu-based Anthony R. Guerrero Jr. vice chairman for the retail banking group and member of the senior management committee at First Hawaiian told the Journal “Shortly we’ll be announcing we’ll be building a new branch — we’ll be looking in Tamuning.”

The bank does have a location on Chalan San Antonio in Tamuning which it acquired in April 2002 on the premises of the former Union Bank of California a location at Compadres Mall in Harmon Loop Road and the Maite branch on Route 8 where Guam’s head offices are located.

Guerrero said First Hawaiian was looking at further expansion and fourth and fifth branch in Guam as well as additional ATMs to the four the bank offers already. “In the future we’ll probably build another branches — I need to confer with John [John K. Lee senior vice president and Guam/CNMI regional supervisor] and Laura [Laura Dacanay vice president and manager of the Maite Banking Center]. We just have to find the right location.” Lee said locations for the first ATMs had been identified. “We have an agreement with Micronesia Mall so there’ll be a couple of ATMs there.” The bank is waiting arrival of the ATMs.

Guerrero was on Guam for the bank’s 35th anniversary of doing business on Guam on April 20 and took the opportunity to meet with members of the business community. “It looks like the economy is picking up. There’s excitement about the proposed military buildup which should be good for us ” he said. “I have talked to some of the hoteliers — tourism is picking up.

“We’ve been having a pretty good year as far as our business loans. We have a pretty good pipeline of pendings. The economy’s picking up no question.”

The Guam market bore commonalities with Hawaii he said. “We have one major industry here. It’s very similar to Hawaii — it’s basically one market. If we can develop other markets and diversify that would be great.”

Guerrero who has been visiting Guam for 20 years said the bank’s position was solid in Guam. “We’re going to be here for a long time. We have a great staff and we’re looking forward to the future.”

The bank has 107 employees on Guam and 29 at its two Saipan branches. First Hawaiian has 56 branches in Hawaii an offshore branch in Grand Cayman British West Indies and a representative office in Tokyo. It is a subsidiary of BancWest Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary of BNP Paribas. MBJ