After over two years in the making, a new and exciting Bank of Saipan emerges at its new home along Beach Road in Chalan Lau Lau. The new headquarters of Bank of Saipan officially started operations yesterday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by board chair Jose “Joe” C. Ayuyu.
With a million-dollar investment, the bank has renewed its commitment to the Northern Marianas when it brought to life an old, unoccupied building and refurbished it to become a vibrant, modern banking facility designed to deliver efficiency and convenience to customers.
Founded nearly 43 years ago by the late Larry Hillblom and by the Tan and Calvo families, Ayuyu reflected on the bank’s “interesting long journey.” “…We have gone through a lot of difficult times but that’s what life is all about; there’s going to be good times and bad times. The most important thing in life is that we are enjoying the moment and Bank of Saipan is here and we have been around for 40 years,” he said in his speech. “…There are other banks on island that are bigger than us…[but] we serve a small niche in the community that needs us. …Customers that are marginalized, that probably cannot qualify for loans from big banks. …We know we are small but this is why we have a place in the community.”
Bank of Saipan’s new location is a three-story facility along Beach Road and each floor houses essential services to the bank’s clientele. The first floor is where all bank transactions are accommodated, from over-the-counter deposits and withdrawals, to new accounts as well as separate “loan rooms” that guarantee privacy where bank officers and clients can talk freely and comfortably. The second floor is where the boardroom, corporate, and executive offices are located. The third floor has a vast open space for bank events or private get-togethers with clients and guests. Clients are also assured of ample parking spaces.
According to Bank of Saipan president and CEO John Z. Arroyo, bank management has caught up with technology and this will be evident in the bank’s new services. First is the “Teller Pod,” where tellers can actually leave their stations and greet the customers at the door, find out what they need help with and then bring them over to their station. “The staff has been trained…and it is one of the things that we’re known for anyway. Really, it’s just the hospitality and friendliness,” he said.
Second is a rebrand of its online banking. Bank of Saipan’s digital banking platforms are now called eaSi Banking and EaSi Mobile, enabling customers to manage their accounts from home or just about anywhere the Internet is available.
Third, which is going to be launched shortly, is an internet-based banking system for business customers, and we’re calling it “EaSi Business,” where clients can do basically any kind of transaction that they would normally do in the bank or in the presence of a teller—except for getting cash.
The new location and office also comes with a new logo that embodies the bank’s mission and vision. “I think just our new image tells a better story about the bank, what the brand and the image stands for. …The new design and colors looks refreshing…younger and inviting. The ‘S’ symbol also has several meanings. First, it is a symbol for a shield around the island that provides financial protection, that people look for and it is also a homage to the original mission of the bank, which is to provide economic development for the islands. Second, it is a symbol for a latte stone, which is an iconic symbol of the Marianas that pulls us together as a common group of people and for a lot of us this is a symbol of home. …Third, a symbol for a ‘fishing hook,’ which is a tool for sustenance for the people…but also it is a kind of tool that is a means to an end, which is what we do—financial prosperity for everybody,” he added.
Lt. Gov. Arnold I. Palacios is excited over the new Bank of Saipan branch. “…This is a very modern facility. Once you see it, you will be impressed. …They have weathered all the challenges of super typhoons, the ups and downs of the economy, internal issues and they always thrive and today, we are happy about that,” he said. “It is nice to see a business in the midst of many challenges still finding the time and resources to improve their facilities and services for the people of the greater Commonwealth.”
Another Bank of Saipan in Garapan is operational and the former branch in Chalan Kanoa was moved to the branch that is now on Beach Road. Arroyo said that Bank of Saipan is the bank of the CNMI. “We don’t do business anywhere but here. …All of our earnings are generated here and invested here. …We are a local bank exclusively for the people of the CNMI. …The deposits and the loans we give is just for the people here.”
Bank of Saipan is open Monday to Thursday 9am to 4pm, Friday 9am to 6pm and Saturday 10am to 12pmn. For more information, call (670) 235-6260 or go to their website:www.bankofsaipan.com.