Zions Bank discusses possibility of being "corresponding bank" for territory
U.S. based Zions Bank has confirmed that it has no intention of setting up a branch in the territory but is discussing a 'corresponding bank' relationship with American Samoa. .
Zions Bank president and CEO, A. Scott Anderson met last week in Salt Lake City, Utah with Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, who had also met with other U.S. banks in the hope of attracting them to the territory due to the planned closure of Bank of Hawai’i’s local branches.
The question about Zions Bank was raised by reporters during Tuesday’s news conference organized by the “in organization” Community Bank of Amerika Samoa (IO), whose interim board chairman Avamua Dave Haleck says they had discussions with Anderson, who relayed to them that Zions Bank “does not intend to set up a branch” in the territory.
It was also revealed during the news conference that two officials of Zions Bank will be traveling here for meetings.
Responding to Samoa News inquiries for comments, Zions Bank spokesperson Heidi Prokop said yesterday that, “I can confirm that Zions Bank does not intend to open a branch in American Samoa.”
“I can also confirm that two Zions Bank executives will be traveling to American Samoa to discuss correspondent banking,” she said via e-mail from the bank’s Salt Lake City headquarters. She said the two executives are scheduled to depart today from Salt Lake City.
The governor’s executive assistant Iulogologo Joseph Pereira said late Tuesday from Honolulu that Lolo will discuss his meeting with Zions Bank upon returning to Pago Pago. The governor and his delegation, who attended several off-island meetings, including those with BoH in Honolulu, are scheduled to arrive tonight.
Samoa News understands that the Zions Bank executives’ trip to the territory was initially scheduled following Lolo’s meeting with Anderson. It’s also understands that the two executives will meet tomorrow with the ASG Treasury Department.
Community Bank (IO) director of community and investor relations, Lewis Wolman, says they will also meet with the two executives sometime tomorrow. Additionally, Avamua will be in Utah in two weeks time for other business and will meet with Anderson in Salt Lake City
“Community Bank (IO) looks forward to playing a significant role in any effort to address the territory’s immediate and longer term banking situation,” Wolman told Samoa News yesterday.
The Community Bank (IO) president and CEO Gary Ayre said in the recent news conference that a "corresponding bank" relationship with another bank is important and Zions Bank has opened up the doors to such a relationship.
“For us, this means we can pass transactions through their bank, we can use them for the clearing of merchant service transactions, [and] they can issue credit cards on our behalf,” he said.
Zions Bank — which operates more than 500 offices in ten western states including Utah, Arizona and California — provides a wide range of personal and business banking services, including credit cards, according to the bank’s website.