Celebrating 60 years in business this year, Finance Factors thrives as one of the oldest depository financial services loan companies in the state.
Originally established by six local, Chinese-American families, Finance Factors was born out of a wish to fulfill a niche to provide loans for Hawaii’s minority communities.
The first branch operated with nine employees just on the fringe of Chinatown on King Street. The company specialized in small, personal loans and small dealer loans before it branched into second mortgages, also known as home-equity loans. “Finance Factors helped launch the popularity of second mortgages in Hawaii,” says CEO Russell Lau. “We were really able to show its value to customers and the concept took off.”
That forward thinking helped pave the way for Finance Factors to add even more products and services to their plate. “Now we do everything: commercial real estate loans, land-development loans, single-family loans, construction loans,” Lau says, “and that’s just on our lending side.”
Although many often associate the Finance Factors name with lending, the company has an investment side as well. “We have attractive CDs and savings accounts,” Lau says. “We are also FDIC-insured to provide customers with the same financial security found at traditional banks.”
However, what has set Finance Factors apart and ensured its growth over the years has been a consistent push for excellence in customer service. “We provided complimentary Christmas rides on trolleys and took them down to the Honolulu City Lights,” Lau says.
He recalls a recent holiday season in which Finance Factors invited customers from various branches to their main branch. “We provided Christmas rides on trolleys and took them down to Honolulu City Lights,” Lau says. “We provided a pupu-style dinner and presented them with throwback figurines of Mr. Green, Finance Factors’ original character spokesperson from the ’70s.”
That kind of customer appreciation matches up with what Lau says is at the heart of the company: “We stress our commitment to the roots of the Island. We try to provide services to the local community,” he says. “We are Hawaii-based and Hawaii-owned, and we want to make sure we give back to the community.”
That mentality has resonated with the Finance Factors clientele. In its 60 years in business, the company has grown to encompass 13 locations in Hawaii and one in Guam, while employing 122 people, many of whom have been with the company for more than 30 years.
“We are getting stronger and better,” Lau says. “In April, we will have been here 60 years, and we expect to be here for a lot longer. We intend to have this organization grow and thrive, so we can help as many people as we can.”
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