6 Dec 2012

American Samoa businesses says Bank pullout must prompt action on the economy

4:10 pm on 6 December 2012

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce says the incoming administration has to sort out the territory's failing economy.

This comes after the Bank of Hawai'i, which has traded in the territory since 1969, announced last week it would close its branches early next year.

The Chamber's president, David Robinson, says the depressed state of the economy is evidently a factor in the Bank's decision.

Just one commercial Bank will be left operating and Mr Robinson says the closure may have wide reaching consequences:

"The closure suggests a monopoly, which is not a healthy situation for any economy. It suggests limited access and higher costs for loan funds for local businesses and individuals. And whilst these matters may not all come to pass, let us hope that the government and the private sector working together can find ways that can find ways will prevent the community from the most serious effects."

American Samoa Chamber of Commerce president, David Robinson