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ANZ will not accept anymore BoH checks after Tuesday, Aug. 13

Bank of Hawaii logo
But TBAS says they will, including checks from all US financial institutions

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — With Bank of Hawaii set to close down all local operations by the end of the week, ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank will no longer accept BoH checks starting this Wednesday, according to an ANZ email notice received by one of ANZ’s business customers after 4p.m. last Friday.

However, the government owned Territorial Bank of American Samoa says it will continue to accept checks from all US financial institutions, including BoH, which began operations in American Samoa in 1969.

The ASG and BoH - in a joint statement in May this year - announced that BoH will close on Aug. 16th its remaining operations in American Samoa — specifically the BoH branch at the Tafuna Industrial Park. (See Samoa News May 15th edition for details.)

A local business which banks with ANZ forwarded to Samoa News around 4:30p.m. last Friday, an email message it received — after 4p.m — from ANZ’s Agatha Devesi, saying this week “is the last week for Bank of Hawaii to operate in American Samoa.”

 “Therefore, ANZ Guam Inc dba Amerika Samoa Bank will no longer be accepting Bank of Hawaii checks from Wednesday August 14, 2019,” wrote Devesi.

Because it was already after hours and heading into the weekend, Samoa News wasn’t able to get further clarification on whether the announcement affects individual ANZ consumers, and why ANZ would not accept checks issued by a US bank.

With BoH being a US financial institution, and a member of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Samoa News asked TBAS if it will continue to accept BoH checks after Aug. 16th, and if TBAS will accept checks from other US banks.

 “TBAS accepts for deposit checks drawn on any U.S. bank according to our deposit account agreement,” said TBAS president and chief executive officer Drew Roberts last Friday around 5p.m. when asked for comments. 

 “While holds may be placed on deposits, it is our general policy to make funds available the following day.

 “We look forward to providing service to all Bank of Hawaii customers,” he concluded.

Meanwhile, BoH reminds business accountholders who do not move their accounts to another bank prior to Aug. 16th, that they will be mailed a cashier’s check for the balance in their account.

Current consumer accountholders have the option of remaining customers or closing their accounts. Those who want to remain BOH customers will have their accounts transferred to Honolulu and they will have a variety of ways to transact with the bank, including online, by phone, or mobile, such as remote deposit.

Bank officials say the mobile app deposit feature for American Samoa will become effective after the close of business on Aug. 16th.

Two weeks ago, consumer customers who opted to transfer their accounts to Honolulu, were sent a letter by BoH saying that their accounts “will be governed by the laws of the state of Hawaii.”

With the account transfer to Hawaii, the consumer’s account number remains the same but the transit routing number will change to the BoH Hawaii routing number, according to the letter, which also explained that the BoH American Samoa routing number will remain valid until Mar. 31, 2020.

For consumer checking accounts, BoH says that as a courtesy — and to help with the transition — a set of checks with the Hawaii routing number will be sent to the customers.