20 Jul 2015

BSP still keen on Westpac Vanuatu and Solomons

7:47 am on 20 July 2015

Bank South Pacific says it is still keen on purchasing Westpac's subsidiaries in Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Looking over Mele Village outside of Port Vila, the river on the left burst its banks during the cyclone floodng the entire village and destroying all their food gardens.

BSP says it may be a while before it expands in Vanuatu, following the damage from Cyclone Pam. Photo: RNZI / Koroi Hawkins

The two countries were left out of the BSP's 67 million US dollar purchase of Westpac's businesses in Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands.

BSP's deputy chief executive, Johnson Kalo, says the bank still hopes to expand into Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, but admits it could take longer than expected, especially in Vanuatu.

"The commercial community and the government are working to try and repair or restore the market and the economy in the wake of Cyclone Pam and the entry of BSP at this time would not be appropriate. We are working together with Westpac to bring the matter to a favourable conclusion."

Johnson Kalo says a rebranding exercise is already underway in Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands.