Room to grow
Although there is ongoing uncertainty and volatility from the pandemic, there is still opportunity for ANZ to expand its operations in the Cook Islands Bernadette believes.
“In our retail business, we want to support Cook Islanders in their aspirations to either build or buy a home when the time is right,” she explains.
“The other area is in our commercial business and that's about understanding the major capital expenditure requirements of resort operators. Also in the commercial space, (it is about) understanding the infrastructure pipeline our government has in place and whether there are opportunities for ANZ in that.”
Bernadette says the bank has seen significant growth in our eGate payments platform recently which has allowed some domestic customers to become less reliant on tourism for their income.
“It's allowed them to pivot, accept payments via their website and open up [to] a global market. We're the only bank providing that product in-country so it's been quite an exciting growth area for us recently,” she says.
Sense of community
For Bernadette, a Kiwi who was previously running ANZ’s Northern Territory operations before moving to the Pacific, the people are her favourite part of her new home.
“They are so generous, so welcoming, so connected to their culture. They have an amazing sense of community and family,” she says.
Bernadette says she also loves the diversity of her role in the Cook Islands.
“I get to run the end-to-end franchise in-country [which is] pretty unique and very rewarding. [We have] an incredible team here locally but also in the wider team across the Pacific. I feel quite proud to be part of that unit.”
You can hear more of our conversation by listening to the podcast above.
Shayne Elliott is CEO of ANZ
Click here to browse through the full “World of Networks” series