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Bank of Hawaii pulling out of American Samoa

Thirty employees will be laid off when the bank closes two branches

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 5:32 p.m. HST, Nov 30, 2012

Bank of Hawaii, which in the early 2000s sold or closed most of its international and mainland branches to focus on Hawaii, is retrenching again.

The state’s second-largest bank said today it is closing its two branches in American Samoa, laying off 30 employees. The bank plans to close the Tafuna and Utulei branches in the first quarter.

Bank of Hawaii has been in the U.S. territory since 1969.

“After serving the American Samoa market for more than 40 years, this was a decision that was not made lightly,” said Hobbs Lowson, vice president and district manager for American Samoa. “In 2000, we made the strategic decision to centralize our footprint back to our core Hawaii and Guam markets, but opted to also keep a presence in American Samoa, where we felt we could deliver the appropriate level of service. However, it’s become increasingly difficult to maintain that strategy in American Samoa due to its geographic isolation from our other markets.” 

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