City Bank plans Lihu’e branch inside Ace/Ben Franklin store

Word about City Bank planning to establish a branch inside the Lihu’e Ace Hardware/Ben Franklin Crafts Store on Rice Street had been circulating in and out of financial circles on the island for months.

And although representatives of the financial institution were running newspaper classified advertisements seeking staff for the branch, company officials weren’t allowed to confirm what on Kaua’i was common knowledge of the bank’s intentions until they had secured federal and state regulatory approvals.

Even after the approvals were granted, last week, bank spokespersons still didn’t have set in stone all details of the branch opening.

Bank representatives last week did confirm they received regulatory approvals from the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs’ Division of Financial Institutions, and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, to open the branch.

“We are excited and pleased that we will be opening our first branch on the island of Kaua’i,” said Ronald K. Migita, vice chairman and chief executive officer of City Bank.

“Because we have customers both businesses and individuals living and working on Kaua’i, it was only natural that we open a branch in Lihu’e,” he said.

While the Lihu’e office inside Ace/Ben Franklin is the first branch of City Bank for Kaua’i, the bank has been operating a mortgage loan facility at Princeville Shopping Center for several years.

The Lihu’e branch will be the bank’s 21st branch in Hawai’i, and second facility inside a Ben Franklin Crafts Store.

A grand opening is set for Saturday, Nov. 16, a soft opening is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 30, a customer service manager and two other employees have been hired, but a bank spokeswoman would not divulge employee names.

Also, branch hours have not yet been solidified, though it is known that the branch will not be open seven days a week, as the retail stores are, but will likely be open six days with some Saturday hours.

City Bank is the largest subsidiary of CB Bancshares, Inc., Hawai’i’s third-largest bank holding company. The bank, with $1.5 billion in assets, provides a full range of banking products and services for small- and medium-sized businesses, as well as retail customers.

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