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Bank of Hawaii delays American Samoa exit for 90 days

By Dave Segal

LAST UPDATED: 12:35 p.m. HST, Mar 6, 2013

Bank of Hawaii said today it is delaying its planned departure from American Samoa for 90 days following conversations between CEO Peter Ho and the U.S. territory’s newly elected governor, Lolo Moliga.

American Samoa has been attempting to convince the bank to remain in the territory, and the Federal Reserve Board will hold simultaneous hearings Tuesday in Honolulu and American Samoa on the bank’s plan to close its only two branches there.

The bank, which is the only U.S. bank in American Samoa, said it will close the Tafuna branch on March 15, as originally planned, but will keep the Utulei branch open until June 14.

 Bankoh announced Nov. 30 it would exit American Samoa after more than 40 years there due to its geographic isolation from the bank’s other markets. The bank stopped accepting loan applications and opening new accounts Feb. 15.

Australia-based ANZ Bank will be the only bank left in the territory if and when Bankoh exits unless another bank comes in to fill the void.

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