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HONOLULU – Now that the word is out about WesCorp’s “consolidation” offer to PacCorp (CU Times Nov. 28), Hawaii CUs are starting to discuss the issue. Honolulu Federal Employees FCU President/CEO and PacCorp Chairman Warren Nakamura doesn’t think it should be an issue at all. “Right now PacCorp is financially stable. We have a good capital ratio. NCUA has given us good reviews. We feel like we can maintain our own in the Hawaii marketplace,” said Nakamura. He said the specific benefits PacCorp offers Hawaii CUs include personal service and marketing support. Hearing of WesCorp’s plans to open a business development office in Honolulu early next year, Nakamura said he was a little confused as to the reasoning behind the move. “I don’t see how that local office would be justified. They already have someone here who is able to market certificates and other deposit items. I don’t see how opening a local office is adding anything more than what people can get from the office in California,” said Nakamura. “We feel that we can survive in the marketplace even if WesCorp opens a local office here.” Nakamura said he thought WesCorp President/CEO Dick Johnson’s letters to Hawaii CU CEOs outlining why he felt a consolidation makes sense were “a little bit aggressive.” He felt the talks should have been kept between the two parties. WesCorp’s consolidation offer was made directly to Nakaumura and PacCorp President/CEO Rand Yamasaki, not the entire PacCorp Board. The two rejected the proposal. “We sat down and heard what they had to offer, but we feel PacCorp is strong at this point and time,” said Nakamura. Ron Ogata, president/CEO of the $415 million HawaiiUSA FCU, said he will be disappointed if a merger doesn’t happen. “This is the trouble with credit unions that I get so mad about. They don’t merge for the good of the members,” said Ogata. Ogata’s was the first Hawaii CU to join WesCorp back in 1988. “When I found out that a Hawaii credit union could join WesCorp, I did it right away. Everybody hated me for it, saying `you went out and joined a mainland company, abandoning the local folks,’ ” said Ogata. Ogata said he does a lot with WesCorp and it’s purely based on business needs. “ WesCorp is just a very well-oiled machine,” said Ogata. Nakamura points out that though many Hawaii CUs utilize WesCorp’s deposit products, they rely on PacCorp for things like clearing. “Many of the credit unions that have deposit accounts at WesCorp, have their primary ACH accounts at PacCorp,” said Nakamura. Some Hawaii CUs are content using the services of both corporates, but say there’s a practical reason for WesCorp to come to Hawaii. Gerard Auyong, president/CEO of Hickam FCU, says it makes sense for WesCorp to have a local presence solely because of the time difference. “We have a lot of touchy feely issues come up. We want to be able to pick up a phone at 4:00 and not worry about them (WesCorp) having gone home for the day,” said Auyong. Auyong said he has no problem investing funds with WesCorp long-distance, but uses PacCorp for things like proof of deposit. Auyong said there are advantages WesCorp brings that PacCorp can’t because of its size. For example, Hickam is working with WesCorp on a loan participation program, something it approached PacCorp about, but it couldn’t make it happen. “We’re not unhappy with PacCorp, but just as any business would, we’re looking for alternatives out there. WesCorp is a player,” said Auyong. [email protected]

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