Minister of Finance Kaleb Udui Jr. confirmed last week that about $30 million dollars of government funds were moved out from Bank of Guam. He further clarified that not all
government accounts were closed.
“We can’t close all the accounts. We have customers that bank there and grantors that
require separate accounts for projects. We will close though accounts that have not
performed well. It is also a managerial decision to close some of the accounts. It is
a lot of work to reconcile so many accounts,” stated Finance Minister Udui.
Minister Udui also reported that normally at this time of the year they would transfer out
large amounts to cover specific expenditures but because of the EIP issue, more money
was transferred out, totaling about $30 million. Minister Udui said that around $6 million
out of the $30 million was moved out to pay bills so the additional $14 million makes a
big difference.
“This is not a lot of money maybe for Bank of Guam but in Palau, it’s a huge amount for
one business,” added Udui in response to a question about the impact of moving out that much of government funds.
Meanwhile, Island Times sources say that both banks, Bank of Guam and BankPacific,
have requested IRS to address the issue of returned EIP’s with Palau, but so far there
has been no response from IRS. There has been no response either from the affected bank on the Palau government’s action.
Local account holders who had their EIP payments returned filed their suit against BOG
on December 28. According to their attorney Johnson Toribiong, they are now in the
discovery phase of the legal process.
It is not yet known what the impact of moving such a large amount of money out of a single institution and placing it in another will have on Palau’s financial sector. Financial
Institutions Commission has not released any statement on the matter. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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