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Chamber of Commerce supportive of Eni's bill to amend Regulation CC

Chamber of Commerce chairman David Robinson says the business organization “is supportive” of Congressman Faleomavaega Eni’s introduction of a bill that would amend the federal Expedited Funds Availability Act, more commonly known as Regulation CC, to include American Samoa.


Introduced late last month in the U.S. House, the bill (H.R. 1679) has since been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, chaired by U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling.


Currently, banks in the U.S. mainland and certain territories are required to make funds available for consumer use from in-state checks no later than the second business day after the check is deposited. Banks in the territory, however, can hold checks for an undetermined amount of time before releasing funds for use or withdrawal. This is because American Samoa is not considered a state under Regulation CC.


Robinson says the “present system whereby the two local retail banks take up to a week in some cases to clear each others checks and up to 21 business days to clear US checks can have a detrimental effect on the cash flow of some of our small business operators, many of whom are finding it difficult enough in our present economy to make ends meet.”


“The added difficulty of not being able to access funds in a timely manner puts pressure on them to pay their suppliers — and two of their biggest overheads, their wages bill and their utilities bill — on time,” he said responding to Samoa News request for comments on the measure.


“We would encourage any new initiative that can assist our local businesses by arranging some form of financial relief which would allow a more timely access to their funds in these difficult times,” Robinson said yesterday.