Westpac acquisition creates a stronger, more robust set of banking options for the Pacific region
New, independent bank means more competition, more innovation and more choice.
Kina Bank outlines exciting plans for banking in the Pacific
Kina Bank says its bold ambition is to create the bank of the future for the Pacific. The proposed acquisition of Westpac’s Pacific businesses will promote a stronger, publicly listed regional bank enabling Kina to focus on greater customer service and lower the cost of banking for everyone in Fiji and PNG.
“We will be able to drive innovation and introduce more choice,” said Kina Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Greg Pawson. “With the proposed acquisition, we will be able to introduce fee free banking options; a new suite of world class digital products and services; and we will be able to re-price business lending, making it more cost-effective for business customers to access funding. We will also be able to make significant investment in the branch network, technology and systems.”
In a statement released on Tuesday, Mr Pawson explained that Kina’s strategy is to create an independent brand-new bank, to operate separately from Kina Bank.
“The newly branded bank will have a new name and be separate from Kina Bank operations – and it will be governed by independent, local boards of directors in both Fiji and in Papua New Guinea (PNG).”
Mr Pawson explained that the newly branded bank will compete directly and vigorously with BSP, ANZ and Kina Bank.
“It’s a really positive story and it will be a great outcome for customers from a service and product perspective. Creating a brand-new bank means there will be more customer choice, more competition and more innovation.”
As part of the sale agreement, Kina Bank has committed to jobs for all local employees across the Pacific, and to maintaining the current Westpac network as it currently stands with no reduction in branches, ATMs or Instores.
“In fact, we will have greater capability to expand the branch and Instore network even further, providing more access for harder to reach communities,” said Mr Pawson. “It means there will be no disruption to customers. No significant changes to systems or processes or the way customers go about doing their business – most importantly there will be no change to the local banking staff that customers know and trust. Only the name above the door changes.”
Mr Pawson also added that there will be significant opportunity for anyone to invest and participate in the ownership of the business through Kina Securities Limited.
“The proposed acquisition of Westpac’s Pacific businesses will also pave the way for local investors. Anyone can buy shares in the newly branded bank through Kina Securities Limited. It means investors can become part of an ASX/PNGX listed company and it’s a great opportunity for anyone who wants to be part of Kina’s growth and success,” he said.