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State of Territory report explains work of Office of Financial Institutions

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Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The Governor’s State of the Territory Comprehensive Report, distributed to lawmakers last week, provides a summary for the Fono — and the public — an update on the work of the Office of Financial Institutions (OFI).

Created by law during the Lolo Administration, OFI was to established and maintain a financial regulatory and supervisory system for American Samoa’s financial systems, consistent with local and federal Banking laws and standards.

This is ASG’s regulator for financial institutions and businesses that deal with money, such as money transfer companies.

OFI reports that it continued renewals of certification for all Money Services Businesses (MSB). The names listed in the report are Pacific Holdings, Solid Corporation, Samoa Money Transfer, Google, and BAM Trading Services, Inc.

Listed under potential clients are: Paypal and PacificEzy Limited.

Furthermore, OFI collected funds from money transfer fees for FY2022 totaling $762,924.09. All money transfers made at local money-transfer businesses, such as Western Union, are charged a fee, which owners have to transmit to OFI.

As required by local law, 50% of the fees collected goes to the ASG General Fund and 50% to OFI.

For Registration/ Examination fees, OFI said it collected $31,510 in FY 2022 and all funds go to the ASG General Fund.

The report also summarizes other activities at OFI:

● Worked collectively with the Federal Reserve Board to assist with examination procedures for the exam for the Territorial Bank of American Samoa.

● Established access to the “FinCen” Portal to obtain reports from local financial institutions required by federal regulations.

● Established a local process and an examination manual to examine local Money Service Businesses and all other businesses offering financial services.

• Training conducted by Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the CSBS Education Foundation.

Samoa News points out that “FinCen” stands for, Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, which is a bureau of the U.S Department of the Treasury that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to combat domestic and international money laundering, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. (See online at for more information.)