BY BRYCE GUERRERO
Journal Staff

HobbsLowsonHobbs Lowson

After nearly 45 years in operation, Bank of Hawaii has decided to close its Tamuning branch.

James “Hobbs” Lowson, appointed West Pacific region manager in March, said the closure follows industry-wide trends and mentioned consolidation of multiple Bank of Hawaii branches in Hawaii. What plays a part in these closures, he said, is the amount of customers utilizing mobile and online banking.

“We have seen a trend in changing customer preferences as to how people now do their banking. More customers are turning to online and mobile banking, and we will continue to adjust to meet the needs of those customers,” Lowson said.

The Tamuning location, which will be put up for sale, first opened in September 1971, with its last day of operation being May 29. Fourteen employees serviced the branch.

“A handful of employees have been transferred to the Hagåtña branch. The other employees have been offered the opportunity to apply for positions at the Bank of Hawaii. Those who separated from the company received a separation package with outplacement services to help them find new employment,” he said.

The bank employs 90 individuals in its five branches in the region, which include two branches on Saipan, one in Palau and two on Guam.

The bank will soon be rolling out services of advanced ATMs, a major feature of which would be no envelopes needed to make a deposit.

“Basically you will be able to just put the note or the check into the deposit feed and no envelope required. It will also provide images of your deposit on your receipt,” he said.

In addition, Bank of Hawaii will be providing mobile banking for Guam, Saipan and Palau customers “very soon.” The service is currently only available in Hawaii. Major features of mobile banking include making check deposits using a smartphone camera and managing accounts through the app.

Bank of Hawaii now has two remaining locations in Hagåtña and Harmon. In order to accommodate the former Tamuning customers, the Harmon and Hagåtña locations will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.