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Founded by heroes.

A History of Service









Founded by heroes.

A History of Service









The Central Pacific Bank Story, since 1954

Our legacy can be traced back 70 years ago when Central Pacific Bank was founded by Japanese American veterans who served in the legendary 442nd Regimental Combat Team, 100th Infantry Battalion, and Military Intelligence Service. They refused to accept the social inequities immigrant families in Hawaii faced after World War II.

Their goal of serving the community with exceptional service to all the people of Hawaii still fit Hawaii's ever-changing society today and, more importantly, provide a worthy framework for the bank's vision for the future. As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, we pay tribute to our founders and their unwavering dedication, serving as a reminder of everything we take pride in. 

1953   |   1954   |   1955   |   1967   |   1972   |   1981   |   1982   |   1983   |   1990   |   2005   |   2007 2020  |   2021   |   2024   

It is an honor to serve our customers and island communities.

"One of the things that truly makes our bank unique is our legacy of service to all of Hawaii’s communities. Our commitment to supporting the financial needs of our customers and the community remains the same today, just as it was when our founders dreamed of a bank for all of Hawaii’s people 70 years ago. Today, we combine our solid legacy with a culture of innovation, offering the latest in digital convenience. It is our privilege to continue to make our founders’ dream a reality, and honor to serve our customers and island communities."

- Arnold Martines, CPB President & CEO


Plate Lunch Plans - A Grassroots Bank



March 4, 1953 – Preliminary prospectus for the creation pf CPB (initially Central Bank of the Pacific) is filed. 

The plate lunch, symbol of grassroots local culture.

The discussions which eventually led to the formation of one of the most pivotal private institutions in post war Hawaii were not held in wood-paneled board rooms or golf courses at private country clubs. Such were the roots of this bank that its young organizers simply met under the shade of trees, soothed by the breezes blowing off of the blue Pacific, at Ala Moana Beach Park. They would huddle there regularly while sharing that most quintessential symbol of grassroots local culture - plate lunches. 

"Us nisei guys had all the guts, but no brains...and we had no money, either.

All we had was this dream."

Mike Tokunaga, Veteran of the 100th Infantry Battalion




January 29, 1954 – CPB receives its charter. It became the first bank to open in Hawaii since 1935, and the first to receive an original charter since 1922.

The Yee Mun Wai, Ltd. building at 50 North King Street.

With a capital base of some $1 million in its pocket, Central Pacific Bank was finally on its way. Thus far, it had beaten the odds as well as the naysayers by successfully generating adequate capital, locating qualified management, and earning its precious, highly elusive charter. 

As the bank was so close to becoming a reality, the group scrambled to complete work on securing and constructing its actual place of business.

"One of the key supporters behind our efforts was the Yee Family. The family's company, Yee Mun Wai, LTD., owned a property and an old building on 50th North King Street, at the corner of Smith and King streets. They had an office there which was available. They agreed to lease the ground floor to us," Sakae Takahashi, former CPB board of directors member, explains. 

The original Board of Directors and Officers of CPB: Standing, left to right: Dan Inouye, Hideo Kajikawa, Sadato Morifuji, Ernest Hara, Tadao Nishio, Charles Kimura, Kiyoshi Yoshimura and Elton Sakamoto. Seated, left to right: Gordon Tanioka, Tokuyoshi Awamura, Minoru Watanabe, Koichi Iida, Sakae Takahashi, Mitsuyuki Kido and Kazuyuki Kawano.

"The roar of 10,000 firecrackers broke the usual quiet..."

Board members participate in the traditional Chinese ceremony at the official opening of the bank.


February 15, 1954 – CPB officially opens its doors in downtown Honolulu with nine employees. To ensure the safety of its depositors, CPB becomes a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), making it the first bank in Hawaii to join. 

Honolulu Mayor Neal S. Blaisdell offered his congratulations. 

The roar of 10,000 firecrackers broke the usual quiet on the morning February 15, 1954, sending a light cloud of smoke over the corner of North King and Smith streets. The traditional Chinese ceremony for good luck hailed the official opening of the new bank. According to a newspaper report, the first savings account was opened that morning by Tokumatsu Okazaki of Kalihi. The first commercial account was opened by Sung Nam Kwon and Harry C. Wong of Diamond Head Memorial Park.

"...a bank that could provide much more equitable service not only to the Japanese, but to all communities."

- Daniel K. Inouye




The bank's presence opened up opportunities for Japanese Americans within Hawaii's financial institutions. 

Like ripples from a stone tossed into a still pond of water, the new bank’s impact was immediately felt by the local Japanese American community who welcomed the expanded access to financial products and services. 


Early photo of CPB staff.

Branch Expansion - Serving Communities

By the time Hawaii became a state in 1959, in addition to its downtown headquarters, Kaneohe, Moanalua and Moiliili branches, the bank had added branches in Kaimuki and Kalihi. In total, its staff numbered 89.

Moiliili branch opened in 1956.

Bank officers at groundbreaking for Kaneohe branch in 1964.

CPB's Kalihi branch was established in 1959.

Makiki branch in 1961.

  • Main Branch - Feb. 15, 1954
  • Moanalua - Nov. 12, 1955
  • Moiliili - Jan. 5, 1956
  • Kalihi - Dec. 2, 1959
  • Kaimuki - May 1, 1959
  • Makiki - Oct. 2, 1961
  • Hilo - Sept. 4, 1962
  • Waikiki - June 11, 1964
  • Kaneohe - Nov. 28, 1964
  • Kahului - July 30, 1966
  • Pearlridge - May 6, 1967
  • Lihue - Nov. 1, 1969
  • Keawe - June 5, 1971
  • Ward - April 2, 1973
  • Waipahu - April 22, 1978
  • Mapunapuna - Mar. 22, 1980
  • King-Smith - Feb. 14, 1983
  • Hawaii Kai - Dec. 5, 1987
  • Kapaa - Feb. 2, 1991
  • Kailua-Kona - Oct. 14, 1991
  • Mililani - Sept. 25, 1993


Mainframe computer installation at CPB's 50 N. King Street branch in 1967.


To keep pace with its rapid expansion, the bank first began its critical steps toward automation as early as the mid-sixties.

The company’s first mainframe computer is installed at the Smith-King headquarters. 

The NCR 315 system was the first big step from the manual posting and ledger systems of the past. At first, it accomodated mainly daily checking account transactions. 



CPB celebrated a significant milestone when it became Hawaii's third largest bank, based on total deposits which approached $160 million. 

In 1969, CPB surpassed $100 million in total assets; in 1979 it went over $410 million. In 1989, the bank surpassed the $800 million mark. 


Central Pacific Plaza - Symbol of the Future

Foundation is laid for Central Pacific Plaza.



July 14, 1981 – Ground is broken for Central Pacific Plaza, the 22-story office tower in downtown Honolulu.

Yoshiharu Satoh displays a model of the Central Pacific Plaza along with the bank's new logo. 

Things were getting pretty crowded over at the King Street headquarters, and the bank's leadership had begun talking of finding a bigger place.

The Art of Service

"We want to make people feel comfortable. We're the community's bank. But it all starts with the employee enjoying the job first."

- Paul Yamashige, former Senior Vice President for CPB's Marketing Division







November 23, 1982 – CPB Inc. is established, becoming Hawaii’s fourth one-bank holding company. 

One of the most significant moves designed to meet the challenges of deregulation under the bank's plan of reorganization was the establishment of CPB Inc., which was formally created on November 23, 1982. The move meant that Central Pacific Bank became a part of the holding company and the bank's 2,000-plus stockholders became stockholders of the holding company by exchanging stock certificates on a share-for-share basis.

Construction of the new building moves quickly in 1982.


The Central Pacific Plaza at the corner of King and Alakea streets in downtown Honolulu has served as the bank's headquarters since 1983.



February 1983 – CPB moves its corporate headquarters to Central Pacific Plaza. 

Central Pacific Plaza

There is no greater tangible symbol of CPB's remarkable growth - and it's solid commitment to the future - than its impressive headquarters, the Central Pacific Plaza. It provides the bank high visibility and positions it in execellent proximity to the modern business, financial and government hub of Honolulu. 


CPB joins the ATM PLUS Network, greatly expanding the number of locations available to customers, and becoming the first bank in Hawaii to offer trilingual on-screen instructions with their ATM system. In fact, through the bank's membership in the PLUS and VISA/MasterCard ATM networks, CPB customers have access to all member institutions' ATMs worldwide.

Amoung some of its other innovations:
  • INFOLINE service in 1992 that allows busines customers to access their accounts and obtain rate information by telephone.
  • New check card program
  • Telephone banking service

CPB was the first bank in Hawaii to offer trilingual on-screen instructions with their state-of-the-art ATM system.


CPB ATM machine


February 22, 2005 – CPB merges with City Bank. The integration brings a total of 37 branches and 95 ATMs operating under the Central Pacific Bank name, as well as nearly 60 new and enhanced product offerings. 

A bank that means what it says.

"Our strength lies in our historical beginnings and meeting the community's needs,"

- Paul Yamashige, former Senior Vice President for CPB's Marketing division



CPB Foundation is created to help strengthen Hawaii’s communities through partnerships, collaborations, and signature programs that provide investment and leadership to support Hawaii residents and businesses where it’s needed most, and by helping Hawaii define a path to a brighter future. 

CPB Foundation is dedicated to programs that support our diverse community, education, small businesses, youth sports, agricultural and environmental initiatives, and pathways to explore new opportunities for our ohana to reach their full potential.

Serving the Community

CPB Foundation members celebrating International Women's Day.


Masked CPB employees


In response to the worldwide pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, CPB recognized the impact it had on our local communities. In an effort to support our community during these challenging times, #KeepHawaiiCooking, a program powered by CPB Foundation, was born. This initiative was dedicated to assisting residents in our community by providing resources to stretch their food budget while also demonstrating our commitment to supporting small businesses in Hawaii. The focus was on helping hard-hit restaurants not only survive the crisis but also thrive once again.



January 26, 2021 – CPB unveils its historic transformation – including a newly refreshed brand, new community spaces at Central Pacific Plaza, and new digital products signaling a renewed commitment to serving customers in the digital-first world.

Tidepools Marketplace, adjacent to our Main Branch, hosts a series of curated pop-ups featuring baked goods, flowers, and everything in between! 

Tidepools at CPB is where ideas come to life. Grab your morning coffee at Starbucks Pickup, schedule your next meeting in a Tidepools conference room, or join a few colleagues for an after-work pau hana at Aloha Bento. We welcome you to our coworking community!

Tidepool conference room

No bank does more to help small businesses than CPB.

Jasper Wong, World Wide Walls Artist


When the business community needed it most, CPB helped existing and new customers impacted by COVID-19 by securing 7,200 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling over $550 million. CPB made more PPP loans than any other lender in Hawaii - originating 36.5% of all PPP loans for the state (more loans to small businesses than all the other major banks in Hawaii combined).




CPB proudly celebrates its 70th anniversary.

February 15, 2024 – As we celebrate our 70th anniversary, we are proud to continue empowering individuals and strengthening our community.

A rendering of the new CPB Kahului Branch, showcasing our dedication to serving the Maui community.

70 Years of Believing

Celebrate 70 years with Central Pacific Bank and explore how we can help you believe in a brighter financial future.