I very much appreciate the Legislature taking prompt action on this important bill, which we expect will lead to the Territorial Bank of American Samoa obtaining a master account with the Federal Reserve Bank.
The words of Governor Lolo Moliga in a December 5 letter, informing Fono leaders of his signing into law the bill that lawmakers passed in the recent Special Session.
The bill amends the law setting up the Territorial Bank of American Samoa by removing a provision regarding the Territorial Bancorp Holding company.
The governor said that the new law will be a significant step forward for the bank in being able to eventually offer a full suite of traditional and modern banking services.
After meeting with the vice chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in Utah last month, Governor Lolo reported that the main stumbling block to obtaining a routing number for TBAS was the Bancorp provision in the statute setting up TBAS.
He said this applies only to commercial banks and was not appropriate for TBAS which is a government owned bank.
The governor informed Fono leaders that the bank has now been opened for over a year, has close to 4,000 customers, and is making small loans in the territory.
He said with the passage of HB 35-18, we expect the bank will soon be able to do much more for the people of American Samoa.
KHJ News asked the Chairman of the TBAS Board Utu Abe Malae if there’s been any decision by the Federal Reserve Board on the routing number.
He said he spoke with the bank president a couple of days ago and he is bird dogging the routing number.
“But so far no word from San Francisco yet.”
San Francisco is where the Federal Reserve office that has jurisdiction over American Samoa is located