28 Feb 2014

Hawaii Bank won't leave American Samoa in the lurch

5:03 pm on 28 February 2014

The Bank of Hawaii says it will not leave American Samoa until the territory is ready.

The bank announced last year it was closing its American Samoa branches due to geographic isolation and not being able to provide an appropriate level of service.

Bank representatives are now visiting the territory for the first time to understand how the planned closure will impact on it.

The American Samoa Chamber of Commerce chairman, Lewis Wolman, says he met with officials yesterday and learned the bank will not be providing some services even though it will be staying a bit longer.

"We were disappointed that the Tafuna branch would not be reopened and loan applications would not be accepted, and new accounts were not being opened. But, we were very happy to see the commitment from the bank to send some high level people down here and learn more about our situation."

Mr Wolman says when the bank leaves depends on how well the Community Bank of American Samoa is progressing.