26 Oct 2005

Solomon Islands rural banking services close to being launched

7:24 pm on 26 October 2005

A project to introduce rural banking services in Solomon Islands is close to being launched.

The ANZ bank is setting up mobile banks for the Guadalcanal plains area, and will use the postal network throughout the provinces to provide basic banking services for rural communities.

It is also looking at how to use PF net and its 49 email stations around the country.

The ANZ's regional executive of Banking the Unbanked, Carolyn Blacklock, says there's been a lot of consultation at village level about what type of banking facilities and services people need.

"In two weeks time, we will launch our mobile banking service into the Guadalcanal plains region which will service the Gold Ridge mining company as well as the Guadalcanal palm oil plantation, and greater Honiara district. Which is around 45 to 50,000 people."

Ms Blacklock has already set up a similar scheme in Fiji where they've opened 40,000 accounts using mobile banks for people in rural areas who've previously had no access to banking services.