Response to our Bank’s presence in Nauru
Bendigo and Adelaide Bank would like to comment on recent media reporting regarding our business in Nauru.
Our Bank opened its first customer service agency for the 10,000 citizens of Nauru in June 2015.
Our motivation for conducting business in Nauru has been to restore banking services after a 15 year absence because we believe that it's difficult for a community to be successful and sustainable without a bank.
Financial inclusion is one of the real measures of an equitable society. Our view is that we can either choose to not be involved or we can assist the Nauruan people by providing financial literacy and improving capability to build a better society.
We chose to be involved and we're committed to doing so, because we don't think it's right to penalise a community by removing a banking presence when we know the good that a bank can do for communities.
Our agency in Nauru employs the same model it already uses in 110 Australian communities. Profits generated from banking business is a very minor contributor to our profitability, in fact, we barely make a profit at all. We're in Nauru to support the local people, giving them a hand up rather than leaving them without the ability to operate in a financial sense.
In response to comments relating to anti money laundering activities, our Bank works with organisations such as Austrac and DFAT and we're satisfied that any previous concerns have been addressed.
Our Bank has sophisticated monitoring strategies in place to prevent, detect and react to suspicious activity. Naturally, we will view any new customer with the amount of diligence that is required of us by law, as we would in any circumstance.
Any inference that we are backing detention centres because of our presence in Nauru misrepresents our intentions. Our Bank's commitment has always been to create a sustainable future and to build a better society for the people of Nauru.
To hear Managing Director Mike Hirst's interview on ABC Radio, click here.