30 Mar 2005

PNG rural banking scheme to be set up later this year

8:15 pm on 30 March 2005

Remote mining communities in Papua New Guinea could be supplied with a mobile banking system later this year.

This follows the ANZ bank setting up a successful rural banking scheme in Fiji in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme which provides villagers with financial skills.

The ANZ's Carolyn Blacklock says the bank on wheels reaches more than 100 villages in Fiji and they are looking to expand the scheme to Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea.

Ms Blacklock says it will be operated in a slightly different way in PNG because of how remote some communities are and the difficulty of access.

"To set up a bank is an extremely expensive thing to do for a remote community but if we can have the ability to fly in, have normal banking services maybe one or two days a week, and fly out again, it certainly takes care of the safety and security aspect that exists in many parts of Papua New Guinea."

Carolyn Blacklock.