12 Feb 2019

American Samoa seeks federal help to get off EU blacklist

8:58 pm on 12 February 2019

The governor of American Samoa has written to the US Treasury seeking assistance in having the territory removed from a black list issued by the European Union.

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Photo: trueffelpix/123RF

Both the US Pacific territories of American Samoa and Guam are listed by the EU as being tax havens.

In his letter, the governor, Lolo Moliga, said the designation was "unreasonable" because all but one bank operating in the territory were regulated by the US government.

He said an Australian-owned bank in the territory operated with standards "more rigid" than those required by US law.

Lolo said the only non-federally regulated institution was the Territorial Bank of American Samoa (TBAS) which he said was a member of the US Federal Reserve.

"TBAS is a member of the Federal Reserve Bank, however it is not yet insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)," the governor said .

"We very much look forward to your being able to assist us in reversing these unreasonable steps being taken by the European Union."

Lolo Moliga at the 2019 Fono opening.

Lolo Moliga at the 2019 Fono opening. Photo: RNZ Pacific/ Monica Miller

As of last year, the EU had four Pacific territories on its list of eight "non-cooperative jurisdictions": American Samoa, Guam, Palau and Samoa.

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