SUNBIZ

Westpac To Continue With Financial Literacy Programme

Westpac Fiji was able to achieve its target of reaching out to more than 5,000 rural people with financial literacy. This was revealed by the Westpac Fiji general manager Brett
09 Dec 2016 12:57
Westpac To Continue With Financial Literacy Programme
(left) Westpac Fiji General Manager Brett Hooker with three Labasa Businessmen Ashok Karan, Harry Robinson and Hotelier Paul Jaduram. Photo: JOSAIA RALAGO

Westpac Fiji was able to achieve its target of reaching out to more than 5,000 rural people with financial literacy.

This was revealed by the Westpac Fiji general manager Brett Hooker during the cocktail in Labasa on Wednesday night.

He said after success this year, the company has decided to continue with the financial literacy programme.

“We have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the iTaukei Affairs Board and we will go out to interior villages to conduct joint education,” Mr Hooker said.

Mr Hooker said they understand that rural communities really struggle to access bank services.

He said the big part of the strategy is to involve people who don’t have direct access to banking.

“We are looking at digital ways to get our customers to sign up such as internet banking products, mobile banking and we also have instore banking product.”

“We are promoting electronic channels because it is faster, safe and easy to access.

“Mobile banking probably has been the main growth for us allowing people to have access to their accounts without having to travel long distances.”

Mr Hooker said one of our main focuses for next year will be to go out to the rural committees and continue with the good work.

“Of course with this we keep in mind about bringing customer growth,” he said

“Our customer base has been very strong and we had a very productive year.

“We have 21 branches, four main business banking centres across Fiji and we have 550 employees.”

 

Challenges

Mr Hooker said the major challenge for the bank this year was Tropical Cyclone Winston.

“Lot of our customers had business interruption and they couldn’t do trade and business,” he said.

“However, majority of our customers are back on their feet.”

Meanwhile, when questioned if the bank had thought about having more automated teller machines (ATM’s) as many recipients of Social Welfare are seen monthly standing in long queues, Mr Hooker said they are reviewing about this.

He then explained this was one of the reasons as to why they are promoting the use of digital products so that people do not have to wait or travel long distance to access banking services.

EDITED BY: FARZANA NISHA

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