Chairman confirm TBAS made profits last two fiscal years
Updated: Jul 21
Senator Togiola Tulafono has assured the Territorial Bank of American Samoa’s finances are stable.
Togiola, also the Chairman of TBAS, made these comments before the Senate this week in response to questions from Senate President Tuaolo Manaia Freuan.
According to Togiola, the bank had returned profits in the last two fiscal years. However, before that, the bank was struggling financially.
He said since the establishment of the bank up to 2020; they encountered issues.
According to Togiola, the main issue, the Audit Office did not cite loans granted to overseas companies, and this was addressed directly with the Auditors why these loans were not in the reports.
Togiola also addressed calls to privatize TBAS, given it’s not federally insured. Togiola pointed out that despite that, the bank's operation has been progressing since its establishment.
He emphasized why the previous Governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, invested in the TBAS in the first place to serve the public.
The Senator said a significant concern is that if the bank is sold, the owners can turn around and sell the bank at any time.
He reminded the Senators of the Amerika Samoa Bank, which was sold to ANZ, that exited last year, and that is why TBAS is essential to our people.
Regarding the Governor’s call to remove the Bank President, Togiola cautioned that such matters are confidential.
However, that is now moot as it has been made public by the Governor’s office, referring to a recent statement by Governor Lemanu Palepoi Sialega Mauga over concerns about the lack of audit reports by TBAS.
Togiola explained there were issues in the bank’s audit report that required additional explanation.