Finance Factors Is Growing
Wednesday - December 17, 2008
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By Steven Teruya
President and Chief Operating Officer of Finance Factors
When I began looking for a job in 1975, I never imagined that I would stay at the same company for the next 33 years. At the time, I had visions of learning the ropes in a management trainee program and then moving on to other financial institutions to move up the corporate career ladder.
Instead, I have spent my entire career at Finance Factors, entering the management trainee program and then subsequently holding a number of management positions throughout the company. Today, I am the president and chief operating officer of Finance Factors.
Some people may call my choice to stay at the same company for so long a rarity, but throughout the years I have been so engaged with the various activities of the company that other offers never appealed to me.
I hope to eventually retire from Finance Factors, but right now there are so many things that need to be done.
Currently, the No. 1 priority is to maintain the confidence of our customers in a turbulent market. We, like other Hawaii financial institutions, did not get caught up in the sub-prime mortgage market and the consequences that followed.
Second, and equally important, is to continue to position the company for the future and to one day convert the company to a state chartered bank.
One of the common misconceptions people have about Finance Factors is that they are not clear on what we are. Are we a bank, savings and loan, or a finance company? Finance Factors is a Depository Financial Services Loan Company insured by the FDIC. We are the last of our kind in Hawaii, operating under a charter with limited “banking” powers. While we operate under the same FDIC rules and regulations as all banks, we are restricted in the products and services that we are allowed to offer. Changing to a bank charter will give us the opportunity to compete on even terms.
Another exciting development with Finance Factors is our branch expansion. We recently opened a new branch at Liliha and Kuakini streets on a property that the company purchased several years ago.
The Liliha branch has been designed to enhance the inviting feeling of the surrounding community. One of the design elements we are proud of is its old “territorial-style” architecture and the town clock perched high above the exterior of the branch. The clock may look old, but it has a high-tech mechanism system, symbolically melding the old town feeling of Liliha with the great new changes happening in the community. Inside the branch, customers can relax in a cozy lounge area and enjoy freshly brewed coffee, a plasma TV and personal-computer access.
The branch also is green-friendly as we have contracted to install a photovoltaic (PV) system with Suntech Hawaii that will supply the Liliha Branch with 90 to 100 percent of its electrical needs.
In addition to the Liliha branch, Finance Factors recently received regulatory approval for branches in Manoa and Chinatown. They are currently under construction and expected to open in early 2009.
We look forward to continuing to expand Finance Factors’branch network, as well as offering our great products to even more residents across the state.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. And with all of these exciting changes up ahead for Finance Factors, I can’t help but feel so lucky - or as my wife would say, “blessed” - that my life has taken me in this direction and has kept me at the same company for the past three decades.
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