ANZ is closing its banking operations in American Samoa and is looking for buyers for its Guam business.
ANZ Country Head, American Territories, Clarke Schaumann, said: “This was not a decision we made lightly but we have consulted with our staff and we will support them as we go through this transition period.”
ANZ will wind down its American Samoa business over the next six months.
“American Samoan residents will continue to have the option to open accounts with off-island institutions online, including with FDIC insured banks and NCUA insured credit unions,” Schaumann said.
“Customers in American Samoa can also continue to access cash through the Territorial Bank of American Samoa (TBAS) ATM network.”
Schaumann has been based in Guam for the past four years. He says in that market, “ANZ’s business is strong but needs ongoing investment and focus for it to achieve its potential.
“While ANZ has invested around AUD$30m (US$22 million) in projects and systems in its core Pacific markets over the past six years, due to legal and regulatory restrictions, Guam has not been able to benefit from this, which is why exploring future ownership options is attractive.
“Sale criteria would include maximising job retention for staff and a commitment to the economic, social and environment development of the territory,” Schaumann said.
ANZ’s Pacific businesses made a loss last year. “While our Pacific business did not make a profit last year, ANZ is committed to the economic, social and environment development of the Pacific, particularly as the region recovers from the impact of COVID-19,” said ANZ Regional Executive Pacific, Tessa Price.
She continues: “In our core Pacific markets, we’re open for business and we want to continue doing business that will support customer aspirations and help grow the communities we’re in.”
ANZ operates in PNG, Fiji, Samoa, Vanuatu, Cook Islands, Tonga, Solomon Islands, Kiribati and Timor-Leste.
“The Pacific remains a key part of ANZ’s international network. By focussing our resources on our core Pacific markets, we can continue to build a world-class digital bank in the region and deepen the support we provide to customers,” Price said.