REPRIEVE: Bank of Hawai’i delays departure 90 days
Yesterday, late afternoon, Governor Lolo M. Moliga, in a press release, announced that the Bank of Hawai’i has graciously decided to delay its departure from American Samoa for an additional 90 days. The governor said that he was notified during a conversation, via telephone, with Mr. Peter S. Ho, Chairman, President and CEO of the Bank of Hawai’i, who was in Los Angeles.
The Utulei Branch of BoH will be open for the additional 90 days, while the Tafuna Branch will be closing on the Mar. 15th date, previously announced by BoH as the day they would be closing operations and leaving American Samoa, according to the press release.
Governor Lolo expressed his deepest appreciation to Mr. Ho and the BoH Board of Directors for demonstrating great sensitivity to his plea for help to avert economic calamity which the Territory will experience if sufficient time is not given to him to seek a replacement bank or pursue other options to fill the vast banking void that will assuredly materialize by the BoH departure on Mar. 15, 2013.
While the approved extension falls short of the 12 months sought, the governor was still very grateful to Mr. Ho for this gesture of goodwill and obvious concern for the welfare of the people of American Samoa. The governor also noted that Mr. Ho did not close the door to a possible future discussion relative to a further time period extension, if a replacement bank is not found and in place.
Governor Lolo said during his telephone conversation with Mr. Ho, he assured him that his administration will aggressively and diligently pursue all available options to ensure that a replacement bank is found hopefully within the 90 days extension.
The governor also announced Mr. Ho has kindly assigned the Bank of Hawai’i’s physical assets in American Samoa to the American Samoa Government to help expedite efforts to find a replacement bank.
In the meantime, Samoa News has received word from the Governor’s Office that the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco is to hold a public hearing on the BoH closure in American Samoa, next week, Mar. 12th, in Hawai’i and it will be simultaneously held here, in the territory, through teleconferencing — to take place at Sadie’s by the Sea — at 10 a.m.
Further details will be forthcoming in tomorrow’s edition of Samoa News.