Nauruans celebrate two years of safe, secure banking
The citizens of Nauru will join Bendigo and Adelaide Bank this week celebrated two years since a safe and secure banking presence was established for their nation.
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman Robert Johanson met with the President of Nauru, local educators and business owners in this celebration, marking two years of improved financial inclusion and community building through the power of banking.
“Through our experience in Australia, our Bank knows how hard it can be for communities to be without access to banking services,” said Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Chairman, Robert Johanson.
“So, when Nauru issued a call for help, more than most, we felt we understood why we should respond.
“The motivation for conducting business in Nauru has been to restore banking services after long absence because we believe that it’s difficult for a community to be successful and sustainable without a bank.
“Although we had no overseas experience in our entire 158 year history, responding to a community in need of banking is what we have in spades.
“Our Bank choses to operate in Nauru and we're committed to doing so, because we know the good that a bank can do for communities,” Mr Johanson said.
Since the opening of the Bendigo Bank agency in Nauru:
- More than 8,500 accounts have been opened, with more than $50 million safely and securely held.
- Local workers are paid directly into these bank accounts, meaning that having somewhere safe to keep savings is again possible.
- From 2018, the Bank will extend its Scholarship Program to support a citizen of Nauru.
- The Asian Development Bank has pledged $350,000 to a school banking program in Nauru. The program is centred on financial inclusion and aims to improve “ability of the local community to manage their finances to save and invest for the future1”. This would not be possible without a banking presence for the Nauruan people.
“Together with community, we’ve reimagined ways that communities can retain access to banking, or regain access to it,” Mr Johanson said.
“Education is a fundamental element of social progress and community prosperity, which is why we are committed to programs that build knowledge and capability for benefit to all in Nauru.
“Financial inclusion is one of the real measures of an equitable society. Our view is that we can assist the Nauruan people by providing financial literacy and improving capability to build a better society,” Mr Johanson said.
 Asian Development Bank report, “Nauru: Strengthening Financial Inclusion and Financial Sector Development.”