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Territorial joins other banks in giving out bonuses and raising minimum wage

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Territorial Savings Bank has joined the state’s four largest banks in giving out bonuses to employees and increasing the minimum wage.

The state’s fifth-largest bank said today that most of its employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and that it will be increasing its starting wage to $15 an hour from $11.25 an hour beginning Monday. The bonus, which was awarded today to 247 employees, is in addition to a $250 bonus that had been paid earlier this month to the same employees, following a practice that has been in place for several years. The 36 employees at the vice president level and above did not receive the $1,000 bonuses.

“We regard our employees as the most valuable resource of our bank,” Territorial Chairman and CEO Allan Kitagawa said in a statement. “They are our main contact with customers and the public and we want them to continue being our goodwill ambassadors. We wish all of our employees a happy and prosperous 2018.”

All of the major publicly traded banks in Hawaii have now rewarded employees with bonuses and increased their starting wages.

The banks said the bonuses and wage increases were spurred by the tax cuts signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump that will cut the federal corporate tax rates to 21 percent from 35 percent and save the banks millions of dollars.

Bank of Hawaii was the first local bank to announce a $1,000 bonus to most employees and a new minimum wage of $15 an hour. Its announcement on Friday afternoon was followed a couple hours later by First Hawaiian Bank, which said it will reward $1,500 bonuses to most employees and raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour.

American Savings Bank said on Saturday it would give out $1,000 bonuses to most of its employees and boost its minimum wage to $15.25 an hour. Then on Sunday, Central Pacific Bank said it would give out out $1,000 bonuses to most employees and increase its minimum wage to $15.25 an hour.

The minimum wage for all the banks before the announced increases ranged from $11.25 to $12.75 an hour.

Hawaii’s minimum wage, which is now $9.25, goes up to $10.10 an hour starting Monday.

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