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Corporate Responsibility November 2009

Corporate Responsibility November 2009

Mike Smith opening ANZ's first retail branch, Liangping China

Investment in rural China

Improving the quality and accessibility of financial services in rural China will be a key focus of our first rural bank in Western China, officially opened by CEO Mike Smith.

Speaking at the launch, Mike Smith said: “ANZ is the first Australian bank, and one of the first foreign banks, to establish a rural bank in the important rural centre of western China.

“We intend to bring our extensive rural finance experience and wide range of products to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Liangping County.”

The new branch is a substantial investment in helping bridge rural and urban divides - one of ANZ’s five key corporate responsibility priorities announced last month.

“Access to affordable, safe and fair financial products is one of the building blocks of social and economic development.

“Bringing these services to a growing rural centre like Liangping can help bridge divides in living standards and economic development between urban and rural areas – an issue high on the agenda of communities in the region,” said Mike.

The Chongqing Liangping ANZ Rural Bank is a wholly owned ANZ subsidiary and is located in Liangping County in Western China, home to some 900,000 people, where around 90 per cent are rural residents.

The bank provides deposit and loan products tailored for local rural small business and individual customers. Further products and services to meet the needs of the local rural economy will be launched as the business grows.

Creating a thriving community

The ANZ team is also contributing to the long-term success of Liangping County by supporting a 12 month development project for local citrus farmers.

A series of workshops will be help pomelo farmers improve their farming practices and build the profile of their industry through better product marketing and promotion. ANZ will also provide farmers and local industry authorities with access to financial literacy programs to encourage best practice financial management.

“The pomelo is iconic in Liangping and is one of the most economically important industries in the region,” says President of Chongqing Liangping ANZ Rural Bank Co Ltd, Patrick Zhu.

“Through this project we can demonstrate our broader social and economic value in the region, and contribute directly to a sustainable local economy that will also ensure the long-term success of our business here.”

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