Strong partnerships and a long-term commitment to the provision of inclusive and sustainable financial services are key to improving the quality of life for disadvantaged communities in the Pacific, according to Reserve Bank of Vanuatu Governor, Mr Odo Tevi.
Governor Tevi was speaking at the Pacific Microfinance Week Conference in Vanuatu, of which ANZ was a major supporter. Hosted by the Central Bank of Vanuatu and organised by the Microfinance Pasifika Network, an initiative of the Foundation for Development Cooperation, the conference explored opportunities to improve financial inclusion and capability in the Pacific through financial literacy programs and banking services, such as savings, credit, insurance, and remittance and payment services.
Executive Director of the Foundation for Development Cooperation, Sean Rooney, said: “The input of ANZ to the conference was significant in helping to increase awareness of microfinance operations in the Pacific and encourage partnerships and cooperation.”
ANZ Fiji’s Head of Rural Banking and Microfinance, Baro Saumaki, spoke about our long-established focus on building financial capability and supporting rural development in Fiji.
“We know that the combination of financial literacy and access to reliable financial services has a direct impact on helping to lift communities out of poverty. Providing banking services for more than 74,000 customers who live in remote villages and communities in Fiji and building their financial capability is one of the ways ANZ can contribute,” Baro said.
We are currently piloting our MoneyMinded Pacific program in three Fiji provinces in partnership with the Reserve Bank of Fiji. MoneyMinded Pacific is the first financial literacy program of its kind designed specifically for a Pacific audience. It complements our flagship rural banking and microfinance initiatives for rural and remote communities and leverages ANZ’s mobile banking centres.
ANZ has operated in the Pacific for more than 130 years and we employ more than 2,000 staff in 12 Pacific countries.
We launched our rural banking service in Fiji in 2004, providing regular, face-to-face services to more than 300 communities and 170 schools through purpose-built trucks that travel between remote villages and provide basic banking services. We have since extended the service to other Pacific island countries where we operate and the service now supports approximately 90,000 people throughout Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa and Vanuatu.