A letter seeking help from the national government have received no official response to date.The letter is said to represent nearly 50 account holders at Bank of Guam whose accounts were frozen by the bank after receiving the Economic Impact Payment from US IRS,according to Delegate Jonathan “CIO” Isechal.

Delegate Isechalfurther stated that the letters he wrote to the three FDIC banks in Palau last week seeking clarification of their policies for putting individual accounts on hold, have not received any response from any of the three banks, BankPacific, Bank of Guam and Bank of Hawaii.

Press Secretary Olkeriil Kazuo said they are working with FIC to get information from Bank of Guam, in response for update on the letter sent to the Office of the President.

The letter signed by one of the affected account holders to President Remengesau, asked the government to intervene in the matter.  The letter stated that these citizens are experiencing “severe financial hardships” due to the bank’s “indefinite” hold on their accounts.

The letter said that it was partly the fault of the government for the misleading information it gave regarding the EIP payment and the IRS.

None of the bankshave responded to Delegate Isechal’s inquiries.

“We are working on a resolution to be introduced in the next session.  We hope to receive responses to our letters prior to that,” stated Isechal.

In May, it was reported that Palauans that have US social security numbers may go online or obtain a non-filer form from IRS and apply for the US Economic Impact Payment under the US CARES Act. 

Many Palauans here in Palau went online and filed and were approved for payments.  Some provided their bank account numbers for funds to be wired to and were able to receive the payments.   Some of the recipients with accounts at Bank of Guam had their account placed on hold and were informed to contact the bank to verify their eligibility.

According to Isechal, some of the affected recipients have banded together to seek government intervention and are said to be acquiring legal support. (By: L.N. Reklai)

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