NCRC Calls for Regulators to Block Bank of Hawaii’s Branch Closures in American Samoa

Washington, DC – Today, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition called upon bank regulators to block Bank of Hawaii’s planned exit from American Samoa. Bank of Hawaii plans to close their two branches in American Samoa after over forty years of business, leaving no American banks and only one deposit-taking institution in the territory.

Yesterday, in a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Bank of Hawaii’s primary regulator, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition called for the Federal Reserve Bank to hold hearings on the matter and ultimately block the Bank of Hawaii from closing their branches in American Samoa, at least until a satisfactory transition plan is put in place that will ensure access to capital, credit and banking services. In the letter, NCRC called upon the regulator to hold public hearings in Hawaii and American Samoa as an initial step so that those affected by the closings can express their concerns to regulators and bank officials.

NCRC President and CEO John Taylor made the following statement:

“Bank of Hawaii holds $97 million in deposits in American Samoa. Their exit would badly curtail the availability of basic banking services and access to credit, and have a serious negative impact on the community. We urge the regulators to step in to ensure that this community is not left behind. There is absolutely no public benefit that would justify the regulators approving these closures.”

See here for the full letter.

About the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC): The National Community Reinvestment Coalition is an association of more than 600 community-based organizations that promote access to basic banking services, including credit and savings, to create and sustain affordable housing, job development, and vibrant communities for America’s working families.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

Complete the form to download the full report: