Zions Bank officials arrive responding to Lolo's appeals


ASG Treasurer Dr. Falema’o ‘Phil’ Pili along with three officials from Utah-based Zions Bank are scheduled to brief acting governor Lemanu Peleti Mauga this morning on issues surrounding the Zions Bank visit to the territory.
Falema’o and the three bank officials were to arrive last night from Honolulu, while Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga has stayed behind in order to provide testimony next week at a public meeting organized by the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco over the Bank of Hawai'i's planned closure in the territory.
In a media statement from Honolulu early Wednesday evening, the governor announced that through his meetings with Utah Gov. Gary R. Herbert and Zions Bank president and CEO, A. Scott Anderson, the three Zions Bank officials would be in the territory by today.
The officials are out of the bank’s Houston office, and are on island to explore and investigate ways Zions Bank can assist the Territory as it attempts to transition smoothly from Bank of Hawaii to a new financial entity with the capacity to offer the same services, which our people and businesses have come to depend on for many years from the BoH, according to Gov. Lolo.
The governor is “thankful and grateful” to Anderson and Herbert for immediately dispatching three Zions Bank officials to American Samoa in response to his appeal for help.
He also revealed that Pili will today brief Lemanu on the issues discussed with Zions Bank prior to conducting a press conference to explain the purpose of the Zions Bank officials’  trip to American Samoa. It's unclear as to the date and time of the press conference.
(Samoa News should point out that the Zions Bank officials are also scheduled to meet sometime today with officials of the Community Bank of Amerika Samoa (IO) to discuss corresponding banking services.)
Lolo reaching out to Zions Bank was out of concern that the BoH departure “would further thrust the territory’s economy into a state of disarray”, according to the media statement.
The highly appreciated decision by Mr. Peter S. Ho to extend Bank of Hawaii’s presence in American Samoa for an additional 90-days supplies the needed time for the Zions Bank to assess and to determine the best way Zions Bank can provide assistance to American Samoa, the statement said.
“I regret not being in American Samoa to welcome the Zions Bank officials and to report directly to the people my reasons for reaching out to this financial institution, however, I feel it is critically important that I remain here in Hawaii to offer testimony along with Congressman Faleomavaega Eni Hunkin, before the Federal Reserve [public] hearing to be held in Hawaii on March 12, 2013 on the departure of the Bank of Hawaii,” the governor said.
Lolo said the Treasurer will spearhead, in collaboration with the private sector, Chamber of Commerce and religious organizations, participation in the presentation of oral statements during the phone satellite hearing which will be conducted simultaneously in America Samoa and Hawaii on Tuesday, Mar. 12.
The meeting will be held at Sadie's by the Sea at 9 a.m. in the territory, 10 a.m Hawaii time.
See yesterday’s Samoa News edition for more details about the Federal Reserve hearing.


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