Our focus today is on our core markets — Fiji, Solomon Islands, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Cook Islands, Vanuatu and Timor Leste — each unique, yet all contributing to the rich tapestry of the Blue Pacific.
"There is also value in bringing the best of ANZ’s global network to the Pacific, whether that’s through market insights, expertise in areas like infrastructure funding and sustainable finance, or digital tools.”
Undoubtedly, navigating developing markets demands a long-term outlook and synergy between stakeholders. As I said in a speech at the Pacific Central Bank Governor’s conference last week, we value the collaborative relationships with regulators across the region, the 'open door' policy, the ability to talk candidly about our shared objectives of community prosperity and economic growth.
We want to continue to support customers’ aspirations and help grow their respective Pacific communities. To do this, we need to ensure our own business is sustainable for the long term.
A strategic approach
By simplifying and standardising our business in the Pacific, we will ensure we remain sustainable and relevant for the long term, to help local communities thrive.
For example, over the next two years, we will go from about 400 products across the Pacific to about 135, from nearly 1100 fees to 300 and from 462 documents to a standardised set.
Our customers in the Pacific won’t be less serviced or have less choice. But the will have a core set of products and a reduced fee structure.
For us there’ll be less complexity and maintenance of processes, systems and documentation. Fewer things to consider when changes are made, reducing risk of inconsistency or missing something, and ensuring fees are fair, reasonable and understood by customers.
We are also looking at centralisation, where it makes sense. Firstly, we want to free up our teams in-country to do the work they do best, which is seeing our customers and representing ANZ.
The secondary benefit is it helps us manage our risk, because we can build scale by having similar processes from multiple countries sitting in one place. This is a big step forward in managing our non-financial risks.
There is also value in bringing the best of ANZ’s global network to the Pacific, whether that’s through market insights, expertise in areas like infrastructure funding and sustainable finance, or digital tools.
Inclusive digital technology
Building a sustainable business means focusing your effort and capital where they can make the strongest impact. At the heart of our vision in the Pacific is digital banking.
Traditional bricks and mortar banking services don’t always meet the needs of customers, particularly in remote areas and outer islands.
Providing essential banking services to customers while running an efficient and sustainable business means overcoming geographic challenges – and we believe that digital banking is the answer.
We continue to see remarkable progress in the Pacific, with 60 per cent of our customers now actively using our digital banking platforms. Over the past year, we’ve had 15 per cent growth in internet banking and a 22 per cent increase in users on our ANZ Pacific App.
Commercial customers have also taken up the call, with 19 per cent growth in transactions on our Transactive platform.
The growth of digital and self-service options is not just helping our customers to bank on their own terms; it’s embracing a digital future for all of us. We feel proud of how we’ve supported this shift.
In thinking about the customer of tomorrow, our approach to financial literacy must also be future-oriented. Our flagship financial literacy program, MoneyMinded, continues to evolve to meet community needs.
More than 50,000 Pacific Islanders have participated in this program since 2011. In the next few months, we’ll incorporate a module on scams, recognising the growing challenge around the world and fostering financial resilience in the Pacific.
We will continue to work hard to do the right thing by our customers in the Pacific and focus on the things that really make a difference.
We are committed to our Pacific business and ensuring it is sustainable for the long term and to help our communities to thrive in the digital era.
Sarah Stubbings is ANZ Regional Executive, Pacific