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Community Bank (IO) applauds Governor Lolo, Chairman Ho

Pago Pago, AS  — Community Bank of American Samoa (IO) applauds the recent announcement from Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga concerning the Bank of Hawaii’s decision to delay their departure so as to avoid economic disruption to American Samoa.


“Governor Lolo and BOH Chairman Peter Ho are demonstrating leadership and love for American Samoa. They are setting an example for all those who serve the public,” said Community Bank (IO) Chairman Avamua Dave Haleck.


The Governor’s press release referenced the work being done by Community Bank (IO) to help meet the banking needs of American Samoa. Chairman Haleck summarized the situation as follows: “Three months ago, Community Bank (IO) submitted an application to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) for a bank charter and depository insurance, both of which are necessary to operate a bank in American Samoa.


“The FDIC review of the application is currently underway. There is no specific timeline for when the process will be completed, nor assurances of a positive outcome, but the Bank’s board of directors is doing all it can to obtain regulatory approval at the earliest time so that we can open a locally-owned bank to serve the people, businesses and government in American Samoa. We thank the community for their support and patience.”


A December 3rd front page article in the Wall Street Journal newspaper highlighted the FDIC’s increasingly rigorous regulatory review process for new banks. In fact, only one new bank has been chartered in the United States in the past three years, and the Journal noted that ‘There is now one community-bank application pending in the U.S., according to the FDIC. It is for an institution in American Samoa.’”


Formation of Community Bank (IO) is endorsed in letters of support from Governor Lolo Moliga, the House and Senate of the American Samoa legislature, the Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Department of Interior, and Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin.


Haleck said members of the public will be able to purchase ownership shares in Community Bank (IO) after regulatory approval is received. In the meantime, the bank has received expressions of interest totaling $8 million from approximately 50 founding investors, all of whom either live in American Samoa or operate businesses in the territory.


The bank has successfully recruited experienced banking professionals to manage the bank, including President and CEO Gary Ayre, who formerly served as President of ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank. The Chief Operating Officer for Community Bank (IO) will be Teresa Galvez, who formerly held a similar position at ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank.


The proposed members of the Community Bank (IO) board are Chair Dave Haleck, Gary Ayre, Peter Reid III, Iki Scanlan, Brett Butler, Marshall Ashley, Leilua Stevenson, Solip Hong, and Lewis Wolman.


For more information, please contact Lewis Wolman,


Source: Community Bank (IO) media release