ANZ opens new world class branch in Kiribati

ANZ Bank's Regional Executive, Pacific Islands Tessa Price speaking to staff members at the newly built ANZ Kiribati branch. Picture: VOSAWALE TAMANI/Twitter

TARAWA, 16 AUGUST 2018 (ANZ) – There’s a new symbol of what world-class looks like in Kiribati, the most remote location in ANZ’s global network.

ANZ Kiribati CEO, Finau Soqo, proudly opened the new ANZ office and branch with President Taneti Maamau, Minister of Finance and Economic Development Dr Teuea Touatu, government representatives and other distinguished guests after three years of work and planning.

“The reward comes when we see the staff and customers in awe as they walk around the branch,” said Soqo.

“Our investment here is symbolic of our commitment to Kiribati and the Pacific.”

“We now have a space that our staff can be proud of that is leading edge within the Pacific. The new property has collaborative workstations, a clean look and feel, and great amenities including showers, kitchen and meeting spaces.”

“We have introduced secure fast deposit envelopes and a professional meeting space for customers, so our Head of Retail and the branch manager have spent time educating customers on how we’ll serve them differently.”

ANZ Regional Executive, Pacific Islands, Tessa Price said: “People always make the difference and I could not be prouder of how the team has worked together to open our new world-class building and branch.”

“Our investment here is symbolic of our commitment to Kiribati and the Pacific.

“ANZ has a rich history in the Pacific; we have been in the region for more than 135 years, and here in Kiribati for 17 years.

“Around half the population is aged under 24 years, meaning there is a pressing need to grow industries which will provide new jobs at home.

Like elsewhere in the Pacific, remittances are important, but Kiribati has provided a good example of how small Pacific nations can claim a greater share of the sea’s bounty for their domestic economy and provide local jobs,” said Price.

Price said the government has also put in place an ambitious vision to implement a self-reliance strategy in the next 20 years.

“What stands out for me when I speak to our people in Kiribati, aside from just their deep expertise in their fields of work, is their passion for the community here.

“They are embedding our purpose to help people and communities thrive, particularly through our flagship financial literacy programme, MoneyMinded. More than 1200 people in Kiribati have participated in MoneyMinded, since it was launched, helping to ensure that even the unbanked are reached and empowered with financial knowledge.

We are also introducing new ways of banking to help our customers thrive, such as our Fast Deposit Envelopes, which I know are already making a big difference here in Kiribati. It’s about making banking simpler, faster and more convenient; putting our customers at the heart of what we do,” she said.

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