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Kina Bank Official: Bank Will Not Create A Duopoly

Kina Bank will not create a duopoly, even with the proposed acquisition of Westpac PNG and Fiji.

This was according to Kina Bank executive general manager banking Lesieli Taviri, who said that the acquisition will only cover 20 percent of the market with a multi-brand approach. She added that it is to create a new brand for the acquired business and to maintain the licence of Westpac PNG.

“It is worth noting that there are four commercial banking licenses in PNG, and numerous micro banks and savings and loan societies operating in this country,” she said. “Furthermore, the Bank of PNG can at any time grant additional commercial banking licenses to either domestic or international institutions.”

Taviri said that the bank will be separate and independent from the brand of Kina bank, and will compete directly with BSP, ANZ and Kina Bank in both Fiji and PNG.

“Its mandate will be a specific focus on the MSME and SME and commercial sectors of both Pacific markets and we will reinvigorate Westpac’s financial inclusion program that has been dormant for some time,” she said. “Financial inclusion remains one of the biggest structural issues for the PNG economy and we aim to address this head-on. The new brand will be governed by an independent PNG-based board of directors and there will be significant opportunities for anyone in PNG to invest and participate in the ownership of it through Kina Securities Limited.”

A strategy in a multi-brand, she said, means that there would be no job losses, no reduction, and no branch closures.

“Literally nothing changes except for the name above the door,” she said. This will be a great outcome for customers in both markets from a service and product perspective.”

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