American Samoa will soon be without a US bank, with the just-around-the-corner exit of Bank of Hawaii from the territory. And with $97 million in deposit, there’s a lot at stake. Federal hearings are scheduled for later today.
But this is also an opportunity for our southern neighbors to reevaluate the wisdom of ceding investments to a bank which they don’t own or control.
Which is why it’s heartening to learn that the governor of American Samoa has taken steps to establish a local credit union. Essentially a nonprofit, community-controlled bank, a credit union ensures local control for local assets. A good move, and probably overdue.