Aloha Pacific to Open Las Vegas Branch, Merges With Ailing CU
On two fronts, the $725 million Aloha Pacific Federal Credit Union of Honolulu is expanding. It's buying a branch from the troubled Silver State Schools CU in Las Vegas and merging with a small, faith-based CU.
The Nevada branch, set to open Nov. 1, represents the first out-of-state facility operated by an Hawaiian CU, said Aloha Pacific.
Terms of its lease purchase from Silver State on a West Las Vegas facility were not disclosed.
Aloha Pacific said the Las Vegas entry is part of a growth strategy to reach an estimated 140,000 former island residents, retirees and tourists.
For its part, the ailing Silver State, Nevada's largest credit union, has been in retrenchment for the last two years, closing branches, reducing assets and last February borrowing $22 million from its private insurer, American Share Insurance Inc.
Regarding the Hawaii merger, Aloha Pacific said it has taken over the struggling $1.8 million Word of Life FCU of Honolulu.
Word of Life founded in 2002 with one branch and 1,000 members serves the Word Of Life Church and Christian Center. Aloha Pacific said it has closed the branch and the CU's employees have taken jobs with Aloha Pacific.
Word of Life is the third merger in three years for Aloha Pacific "and represents a wonderful opportunity for both credit unions," said Wallace Y. Watanabe, president/CEO.
The Aloha Pacific CEO told a Honolulu newspaper his CU would be satisfied "to get 10% of the 140,000 Hawaiians in Las Vegas" as it competes with both large Nevada and Hawaii banks.
Aloha Pacific said despite the Nevada recession, it does expect to offer commercial, mortgage and home equity loans.