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Photo : JOYCE BORTHWICK.

INTERVIEW : JOYCE BORTHWICK, RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE DIVISION, FIRST HAWAIIAN BANK

In what ways is the“First Step Home Loan” programme particularly adapted to the Hawaiian market?

This programme was launched in January 2014 to specifically serve the needs of first-time homebuyers in Hawaii. It allows a lower down payment, accepts that part of this down payment is provided by a family member and offers more flexibility and lower mortgage-insurance requirements. In Hawaii, the home-ownership rate is rather low and prices are high: the median price is more than 3 times higher than in the rest of the US. So it is not uncommon for families to pool their funds to buy a home or for parents to assist their children with a down payment to purchase their home.

What kind of feedback did you receive from clients about this programme?

The bank has already helped 44 first-time homebuyers with total funding of $12 million and feedback is very good:

MORE ABOUT… THE HAWAIIAN REAL ESTATE MARKET

In Hawaii, the median price of a single-family dwelling reached $682,800 in 2014.

Photo : Group - In 2014, BNP Paribas Investment Partners received an SRI label for 29 of its funds, of which BNP Paribas Aqua received the “Fond Vert Novethic” and “Environment LuxFLAG” labels.

SRI FUND

MANAGEMENT RECOGNITION

In 2014, 29 certification labels distinguished the socially responsible investment (SRI) solutions developed by BNP Paribas Investment Partners and its expertise on “best in class” and thematic approaches.

Ten funds were awarded the “SRI Novethic” label which recognises transparent management and inclusion of ESG criteria when selecting assets.

Five funds received the “Novethic Green Funds” label for investments in companies which provide major environmental benefits.

Five funds were awarded the “Environment LuxFLAG” label for strong involvement in the environmental sector and a high level of transparency.

Four funds were awarded the “Finansol” label which recognises investments in social entrepreneurship and microfinance.

Five funds received the “CIES” label, awarded by the Comité Intersyndical de l’Épargne Salariale (inter-trade union committee for employee savings plans).