National Bank of Vanuatu and Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme Announce Partnership to Improve Rural Banking Services

August 10, 2009

National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Program (PFIP) today announced a strategic partnership that will make banking services more accessible and relevant to the people of rural Vanuatu.

Over the next three years, NBV’s aim for rural banking and microfinance is to extend its e-banking network to an additional 5 provincial branches and enable an additional 13,000 rural producers and micro-entrepreneurs to be banked. To help achieve this end, PFIP will contribute US$212,000 to support NBV’s current investment in IT and communications infrastructure for rural banking.

“We appreciate the support of PFIP and their keen understanding of the challenges we face to deliver banking services in rural areas”, said NBV Managing Director, Mr Bob Hughes.

“Rural banking and microfinance are a very important part of NBV’s corporate mission and we are determined to do everything we can to enhance our performance in this area. PFIP support will really help us make some significant improvements”.

Mr Tillman Bruett, PFIP Project Manager and Advisor said, “We acknowledge the commitment and large investment from NBV to operate outside of the main cities as well as the early technical support of NBV by the Asian Development Bank. We are confident that our additional investment in new technologies will achieve results so that NBV can realize its mission to creating greater financial security and economic opportunity for the ni-Vanuatu in rural areas.”

NBV is a commercial bank that provides a range of services to individuals, small and large businesses, and government agencies. Its corporate mission is “to provide commercially viable banking services that contribute to the economic growth of Vanuatu and to lead the country in development and provision of accessible rural banking services.”

PFIP works in Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands and Samoa and its priorities include financial literacy, sharing knowledge on microfinance, and empowering microfinance institutions and other like-minded organizations to better provide sustainable financial services.