About the Bank

Opened in 2016, the Territorial Bank of American Samoa (TBAS) is a state-owned regional bank, servicing loans, deposits and financial transactions both locally and abroad for its customer base.

The Challenge: Talent Shortages & Leadership Gaps

Since its opening, TBAS has experienced rapid growth, serving 25,000 customers and doubling its size following the COVID-19 outbreak. However, TBAS faced significant challenges common to regional and community banks, particularly in recruiting and retaining financial and banking talent. The island’s small population further complicated talent recruitment.

“The major challenge for the bank was, ‘How can we recruit and retain executive level talent so we can teach our workforce to take over the leadership roles in the future?’ That’s where Paro has come in and really supported the bank.”

Owen Peery, TBAS President & CEO

In addition to talent gaps, the bank also needed to diversify its operations. Given its unique geographic location and limited market size, TBAS’s loan-to-deposit ratio is lower than that of traditional banks, necessitating expansion beyond traditional banking models. 

The Solution: A Dynamic Fractional Talent Model

Knowing the bank couldn’t solve the talent problem in the short term, President and CEO, Owen Peery, started researching talent recruitment and consulted with Paro.

“[Our Paro representative] understood our issues. He really took the time to dive in and understand our position, the strategic plan, the growth plan and the vision of the bank.”

Owen Peery, TBAS President & CEO

Cleanup Bookkeeping & Audit Services

Soon after, TBAS brought on a bookkeeping team handpicked by Paro fractional CFO, Dan S. The team immediately supported day-to-day operations, historical cleanup, general ledger reconciliations and accounts payable—all of which were lagging behind since the bank’s surge in transaction activity. 

The bookkeeping wins also prompted TBAS to procure Paro’s auditing services, provisioning annual financial audits for a three-year period. So far, this has resulted in an FY22 unqualified audit.

Executive Leadership for Strategic Growth

When the bank’s CFO resigned, Dan stepped in to serve as CFO/controller. His expertise, relationships and strategic investment plan have been instrumental in positioning TBAS for sustainable growth and profitability. Together, they continue to optimize the bank’s short and long-term strategic plan, including dividend policy and future tech transformation to expand and optimize service offerings for native American Samoans living abroad. 

“The CFO/controllership arrangement was the spearhead that led to the reorg and cleanup of our financial department. [Dan] brought in a level of professionalism and experience the bank had not had up to that point.”

Owen Peery, TBAS President & CEO

The Impact: A Long-Term Path to Profitability 

Paro’s partnership brought TBAS its first unqualified audit and first profitable year in FY22. That success continued into FY23, and the bank anticipates it will surpass that success again in FY24. 

TBAS continues to develop a profitable roadmap for the far-term and facilitate the transfer of institutional knowledge to strengthen its workforce.

“Through [Dan’s] leadership and strategic planning, we feel we’re on a path to profitability for the next five years. And we’re constantly reassessing that strategy to extend it into the next decade, the next 15-20 years and beyond. Ideally over the next 10 years, we can gain enough experience through our relationship with Paro that we can develop a skill set locally.”

Owen Peery, TBAS President & CEO

Looking at the future, Peery and Paro are continuing to collaborate on opening new revenue streams for the bank, which is vital to its sustainability and profitability in a limited market size.

“Above and beyond, from my perspective, one of the most impactful areas of this Paro engagement is access to a network. Through Paro, we have been able to network with various different service providers that the bank would not have that access to if it were not for that Paro relationship.”

Owen Peery, TBAS President & CEO