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  • Writer's pictureKVZK TV

Gov calls for removal of TBAS CEO David Buehler, over failure to submit audit reports

Governor Lemanu P. S. Mauga called on the Territorial Bank of American Samoa (TBAS) Board of Directors and the Office of Financial Institutions to take action to address the failure of leadership at TBAS that caused the bank to be unable to timely file its audited Financial and Profit and Loss Statement as required under local law.

This failure affects far more than TBAS and its obligations under the law.

In a statement issued, the governor pointed out the American Samoa Government owns the bank, the lack of an audited financial statement from TBAS impacts ASG’s governmentwide audit, its obligations to bond investors, and potentially American Samoa’s credit rating.

"According to the American Samoa Code Annotated, the Chief Executive Officer of TBAS is responsible for effectively and efficiently managing the bank.

"Failure to meet the requirements of the law and failure to understand or be concerned for the potential impact on ASG is neither effective nor efficient management.

"As such, Governor Lemanu issued a letter to TBAS calling for the removal and replacement of TBAS CEO David Buehler.

"Because of the potential effects of this failure on ASG; the Governor also requested that OFI file a complaint for suspension or removal on the CEO pursuant to A.S.C.A. § 28.1204."

As reported by KVZK earlier this week, Commissioner of the Office of Financial Institutions, John Mars, has confirmed his office is in the process of adjudicating a complaint against TBAS's President David A. Buehler for allegedly failing to deliver audited financial statements in a timely fashion.

He refers to the audit report for the fiscal year 2022, which has not been filed to date. Marsh was responding to KVZK questions regarding the lack of audit reports.

Marsh declined to further comment on the matter in any case of inadvertently running afoul of the strict confidentiality requirements under the Office of Financial Institutions statute. Marsh, however, has reassured the issues in the complaint should not cause concern among TBAS's depositors.

In today's press statement, Governor Lemanu pointed out the people of American Samoa deserve effective and efficient management of the people’s bank.

“Accountability for failures such as these is one way to assure customers and investors that ASG is doing its part to promote effective and efficient management.”

KVZK reached out to Mr Buehler for comments, and he said : "No comment as the board has yet to meet on this matter."

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