9 Feb 2011

Banks in American Samoa say tracking money remitted out will be difficult

11:05 am on 9 February 2011

The two commercial banks in American Samoa, ANZ Amerika Samoa Bank and Bank of Hawaii, say it will be difficult for the government to track money that is being remitted out of the territory.

Senators have been mulling ways to raise revenues and are considering taxing remittances from businesses being channeled off island.

The District Manager for Bank of Hawaii, Hobbs Lowson, says it would be very difficult to track money going out that is not used for orders and purchases that make their way back to the territory.

Mr Lowson says money transfer services transmit much of the money that goes off island.

"You'd be asking the banks to be your tax agent, perhaps, or to delay the transactions long enough that the government tax agency could come down and tax those transactions. All of which would be very harmful to business. Oftentimes when they need to send payments out for product, they need to get it out quickly."

The District Manager for Bank of Hawaii, Hobbs Lowson.