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TBAS opening its doors today

A “historic chapter for American Samoa”

Bank of Hawaii president and chief executive officer Peter Ho has congratulated Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga a on the “historic chapter for American Samoa” with the establishment of the government owned Territorial Bank of American Samoa set to be launched today.

The TBAS opening ceremony is set at 10a.m. on the ground floor of the Centennial Building in Utulei, the former location of BoH, followed at 12noon with the bank’s official opening of its doors to the public.

After today’s opening, TBAS will open Monday thru Friday from 9a.m. to 3p.m. and there are two ATMs at the main lobby of the building. TBAS has already signed up more than 400 ASG employees, who were the target of the bank’s marketing strategy to kick-off its operations.

Among the guests invited to attend today’s ceremony is Ho, who is also chairman of BoH’s parent company Bank of Hawaii Corporation. In the invitation letter, the governor told Ho that today’s event is not only to celebrate the “opening of the new bank, but also Bank of Hawaii’s many years of service to the people of the territory.”

In his response, Ho congratulated the governor and the TBAS board “on this exciting and historical chapter for American Samoa.

“Through your strength of leadership you have laid the groundwork for the future economic viability, independence and success of the territory,” Ho wrote to the governor, who was thanked for the kind words of recognition of BoH and Ho “as we have worked with you through the transition” to TBAS.

“I am well aware that it takes many hands to navigate a successful journey,” Ho wrote.

Ho, who is also the bank’s board chairman, pointed out that Lolo’s notable achievement is a direct result of the hard work, collaboration and cooperation of many. “We certainly recognize all of the efforts of your team and commend you for all that you have achieved,” he said.

While he will not be able to attend the ceremony due to his travel schedule, Ho said BoH senior vice president Hobbs Lowson along with vice chairman and chief administration officer, Mark Rossi, will represent him. Rossi is also BoH’s general counsel and had worked closely with the governor’s team through the transition process.

“We do recognize the significance of this critical milestone for American Samoa and the importance of Bank of Hawaii participation in the proceedings,” he said and wished the governor the best of luck “as we move through the final stages of our transition and the inauguration” of TBAS.

At today’s ceremony, a Fono approved concurrent resolution will be presented to BoH officials Lowson and Rossi. The measure expresses gratitude and appreciation of the government and people of American Samoa to Ho and BoH, for their contributions to the growth and economic development of the territory.

BoH began it’s service in American Samoa some 47 years ago, when it acquired in 1969 the Bank of American Samoa, which was established in 1914 by the US Navy.