UPDATE: Private sector invited to a meeting with Zions Bank officials today
ASG has invited the private sector to a meeting today with Zions Bank executives, who met last Friday with founding members of the Community Bank of Amerika Samoa (IO), the newly formed financial institution seeking federal regulatory approval.
Zions Bank officials Jacob Heugly and John Richards arrived last Friday morning with ASG Treasury Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ M. Pili from Honolulu, and later briefed acting governor Lemanu P. Mauga on what assistance Zions Bank can provide the territory. Zions Bank is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah.
By last Friday afternoon, Pili issued a public notice aired on local radio stations inviting members of the business community to attend a 10 a.m. meeting today with Zions Bank officials. The meeting will be at the Governor’s Office Conference Room.
According to the notice, Zions Bank has “graciously agreed to assist the American Samoa Government and its citizens in dealing with the impending” departure of Bank of Hawai’i.
As previously reported, Zions Bank will not be setting up a branch in American Samoa, but will be providing services as a “corresponding bank”.
According to the public notice, American Samoa is very fortunate to have the two executives on island “to discuss our options as we move forward into a post-BankoH world...” and encouraged the private sector to attend the meeting.
Besides the briefing with Lemanu, the Zions Bank executives met with officials of Community Bank (IO), whose director of community and investor relations, Lewis Wolman, told Samoa News over the weekend "we will [also] attend the meeting” today.
“It might be a less important meeting for us than for others, because we will have already spent so much private time with Zions Bank by then, and because Avamua Dave Haleck, interim board chair of Community Bank (IO), is scheduled to meet with Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson in Utah the week of March 18,” said Wolman responding to Samoa News inquiries.
According to Community Bank (IO) CEO Gary Ayre, “Community Bank (IO) and senior officials at Zions Bank are presently in discussions concerning Zions Bank serving as Community Bank (IO)’s correspondent bank after Community Bank (IO) obtains” US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approval.
“Officials of the two companies met Friday and discussions will continue in the coming weeks as we seek to formalize the ways in which we will work together… and establish a correspondent bank relationship once we are in operation,” said Ayre.
Avamua confirmed that he will be meeting with Anderson in two weeks time in Salt Lake City, and the meeting is expected to further deepen the ties between Community Bank (IO) and Zions Bank.
“We extend our thanks to Governor Lolo Moliga for helping us establish our friendship and business relationship with Zions Bank, one of the nation’s leading financial institutions,” Avamua said over the weekend.
Zions Bank came onto the local scene when Lolo met Utah Gov. Gary Herbert last month during the meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington DC From there they struck up a friendship that lead to Lolo’s meeting in Salt Lake City with the Zions Bank president, as well as others in the banking industry.
Lolo’s reaching out to Zions Bank comes amid the move by BoH to close its local operations. BoH has extended the closure of its operations in the territory for 90-days — their Utulei branch will be open, while the Tafuna branch will officially shut down operations Mar. 14.
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