BSP opens in Vila

The National,Tuesday July 5th, 2016

THE Bank of South Pacific has completed its acquisition of the Westpac operation in Port Vila, Vanuatu, according to BSP group chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou.
He said on January 29 last year, BSP entered into a proposed sale agreement to purchase Westpac operations in Cook Islands, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu.
This was subject to regulatory approval by the Bank of Papua New Guinea and respective regulators in those countries.
“In July 2015, the purchases of the operations of Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga were completed,” he said.
“In October 2015, the Solomon Islands branch of Westpac was purchased.
“Given the impact of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the proposed sale of Westpac’s Vanuatu operations did not proceed in 2015.”
He said the Reserve Bank of Vanuatu approved the purchase on November 11, 2015, for completion on July 1, 2016.
“This has now occurred at the close of business on July 1, 2016,” he said. BSP Group chief executive officer Robin Fleming said the acquisition was aligned to BSPs’ Pacific based expansion strategy, which have been maintained since 2006.
“Further, as a business domiciled in PNG, the largest South Pacific island economy, BSP has developed a strategic interest to find opportunities, build commercial relationships and grow its presence in the economies of the South Pacific region,” he said. “The acquisition brings respected customers, skilled employees and specialised processes and systems.
“It positions BSP as a leading Pacific financial services business, maximising future opportunities from PNG’s growing long term trade and economic influence in the region.”
Fleming assured customers that there would be minimal disruptions to services in Vanuatu during the transition to BSP.