Zions Bank to take over many services BoH is closing
The American Samoa Government announced yesterday that it will open a banking relationship with Utah-based Zions Bank, a subsidiary of Zions Bancorporation.
According to the Governor's Office, Zions Bank will open the government's depository accounts and provide treasury management, payroll, and commercial card services—services that will largely replace those provided by Bank of Hawaii which will be exiting the American Samoa market next year in March.
Through a statement released to the media yesterday, Governor Lolo Moliga said, "While this news does not yet resolve all of the banking issues facing the territory and its people, it's a step in the right direction towards a permanent solution to fulfill the financial needs of our people."
Lolo has directed ASG Treasurer Falema'o Dr. Phil PIli and his staff to work with Zions Bank "to ensure a smooth migration of bank accounts without disruption of current financial services for the government's employees."
Lolo wrote, "On behalf of the people of American Samoa, I would like to express our appreciation to the Zions Bank executive officials for accepting our request to begin banking services with the American Samoa Government."
The news comes as a delight to some local residents, most of whom had to close their BOH accounts and open new ones at ANZ after BankOh announced that they were closing up shop earlier this year.
Government employees prefer BOH because their direct deposit payroll checks are available for withdrawal through ATM machines on the Saturday before the Monday payday.
BOH's announcement that they were leaving the territory became an issue in the Fono, with lawmakers urging bank officials to delay their departure or reconsider the move. It also resulted in some local residents and business owners coming together to begin the process of opening a locally funded financial institution - the Community Bank of Amerika Samoa, which is currently undergoing federal regulatory and local government approval with plans to open for operation in the territory by early next year.
Zions Bank is Utah's oldest financial institution and is the only Utah bank with a statewide distribution of branches, operating 102 full-service offices, with an additional 26 full-service branches in Idaho. In addition to offering traditional banking services, Zions Bank is also a leader in small business lending and has been ranked as the #1 lender of US Small Business Administration 7(a) loans in Utah for the past 19 consecutive years.
The bank was founded in 1873 and has been serving the communities of Utah for nearly 140 years.
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