WESTPAC BANK TO UPGRADE PNG FACILITIES

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PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (February 8, 1999 - Radio Australia)---The Westpac Bank reports it will spend about $5 million dollars upgrading banking facilities in Papua New Guinea.

Westpac -- formerly the Bank of New South Wales -- was Papua New Guinea's first commercial bank, opening its first branches in 1903.

The bank will introduce electronic, Internet and telephone banking, and train local staff to operate the new technology required to provide the services.

Bank officials say there is strong demand for electronic services in Papua New Guinea -- where people often travel great distances to get to a bank, and then may have to wait in lines for long periods.

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