Westpac forced to continue to operate its banks in Fiji and Papua New Guinea

Westpac announced last year it was selling its majority shareholdings in Westpac Fiji and Westpac Bank PNG Ltd for up to $AU420 million dollars.

Its preferred buyer was Kina Securities but the PNG Consumer and Competition Commission, the ICCC, has denied authorisation for the sale to Kina Securities.

Westpac has today announced that it will continue to operate the Pacific businesses while it reviews the impact of the decision on Kina Securities.


Westpac bounces back from pandemic with $583m six-month profit

The bank's half year cash profit for the six months ended March was $583 million, or 98 percent up on last year's $297m.

The bank said a stronger than expected recovery in business and the impact of government support measures resulted in a big drop in the amount set aside for bad and doubtful debts, with the bank writing back $99m, against last year's $211m.

BSP to take over Westpac Vila staff

The statement said it was part of the sale agreement.

The Vanuatu transaction follows the trend in staff movement when BSP took over Westpac in Cook Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands and Tonga. All Westpac staff transitioned to BSP employment in 2015.

“The sale of Westpac’s Vanuatu operations was originally planned for mid-2015, but was delayed following Tropical Cyclone Pam,” the statement said.

“Until the sale proceeds, it is business as usual for Westpac in Vanuatu.”

Westpac to end relationship with Nauru government

RNZ International understands the Australian bank has written to the country's government asking to end their years-long relationship over several concerns about the use of the accounts.

The decision will not affect regular cutomers who make banking transactions to Nauru.

BSP remain committed to acquire Westpac bank in Solomon Islands

Bank of South Pacific (BSP) is working closely with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to obtain the necessary approvals and discussions with the CBSI have been positive and have well-progressed.

This was revealed in a statement by BSP Group chairman Kostas Constantinou.

He says BSP is confident for a positive conclusion of the new application that is before the CBSI to allow the transaction to proceed shortly thereafter.

BSP bid to purchase Westpac Vanuatu Ltd rejected

A Westpac Group media release attributed the decision to continue operations in Vanuatu to timing: “Given the impact of cyclone Pam, now is not the time for a change of operators in the country’s banking sector.”

But independent sources confirmed that BSP’s application to purchase Westpac’s Vanuatu operations was rejected on technical grounds, and that BSP had not provided sufficient information to satisfy the assessment criteria.