BSP now the biggest bank in the Pacific

Business, Main Stories

BANK South Pacific (BSP) has confirmed that settlement of the transaction to acquire all of the Colonial Group in Fiji from Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has been completed making it the major banking group in the Pacific with total assets in excess of K9 billion and nearly 3,000 employees.
BSP chief executive officer Ian Clyne said BSP was also the best capitalised bank operating in the Pacific with a ratio of common equity to total assets of more than 20%.
He said this ratio was an industry measure of balance sheet strength and at 20% and was more than twice its peers in the Pacific region.
Clyne said: “Fiji, with the second largest economy in the region, was critical to BSP’s plans to build a substantial Pacific franchise.
 “BSP  is already bigger in Papua New Guinea than its competitors ANZ and Westpac combined.”
He said the value of its assets in the region was considerably higher than that of the entire Fiji banking system.
 “Its regional growth initiatives have included acquisition of banking businesses in Niue and the National Bank of Solomon Islands which now operates under the BSP name and is the largest bank in the Solomon Islands.”
Clyne also pointed out that BSP’s ambition was not to be the biggest, but to be the best.
 “The bank,” he said, “has deservedly established a reputation as one with a powerful customer focus and understanding of shareholder value”.
He added that BSP has been operating in the Pacific for over 50 years and could justifiably claim a solid understanding of the financial needs of the people in the region.
The BSP brand would be unveiled in stages throughout its new Fiji branch network over the next 12 months.
Chief financial officer Johnson Kalo said BSP’s performance this year is in line with expectations despite the difficult economic environment.
He said BSP is well-placed to benefit from the increased economic activity associated with the PNG LNG project.