Bank South Pacific Takes Over Westpac In Tonga, Samoa, Cooks

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PNG bank calls off purchase of Vanuatu, Solomons operations

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, July 14, 2015) – Bank South Pacific (BSP) a Papua New Guinean bank has taken over the operations of the Westpac Bank of Tonga.

The Westpac Bank of Tonga employees, who number around 76 in Nuku’alofa and Vava’u, including management, remain with the new bank.

BSP Chairman Sir Kostas Constantinou, announced today 14 July the completion of the purchase of Westpac Banking Corporation’s operations in Tonga, Samoa and Cook Islands for AUD$91 million [US$68 million].

On 29 January this year, BSP announced it had entered into the proposed sale agreement to purchase Westpac’s operations in the three countries with the transaction subject to regulatory approval by the Bank of Papua New Guinea and respective regulators in each country. All necessary approvals were received.

Robin Fleming the Managing Director and CEO stated that this transaction is a major milestone for a Papua New Guinean Bank.

"BSP is committed to our customers, our people and the communities we operate in," he stated.

Meanwhile, the proposed sale of Westpac operations in Vanuatu and Solomon Islands operations will not proceed at this time.

BSP said given the impact of Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu, the proposed sale of Westpac Vanuatu would not proceed.

Similarly, the proposed sale of Westpac Solomon Islands operations would not proceed at this time but BSP and Westpac are continuing consultation with the Central Bank of Solomon Islands to obtain all necessary statutory, regulatory and third party approvals.

BSP Group employs more than 4000 people across PNG and the South Pacific region.

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