Tonga Development Bank Plans Commercial Expansion

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Pacific Islands Development Program, East-West Center With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies, University of Hawai‘i

Bank to offer foreign exchange, Internet banking services

NUKU‘ALOFA, Tonga (Matangi Tonga, March 2, 2016) – The Tonga Development Bank plans to launch new commercial services this month, including foreign exchange and internet banking, as part of a three year expansion programme that began in 2014.

The government-owned development bank, which was established in 1977, plans to become a fully commercial bank by 2017, Tongan business people were told this morning.

In a presentation to a breakfast meeting of the Tonga Chamber of Commerce and Industries at the Café Escape, the TDB’s Chief Financial Officer Hasiloni Fungavai said that the bank had introduced foreign currency cash exchange in June 2015 and next week on 7 March will also offer telegraphic transfers into and out of Tonga. This will be followed by internet banking and mobile banking to be introduced toward the end of March.

He said that the TDB had set up relationships with correspondent banks including Citibank, Westpac and others so they could offer transfers in USD, YEN, AUD, NZD and EUR.

Further developments this year will include the introduction of ATM’s and cards systems.

"We aim for full banking services for the people of Tonga throughout our extensive branch network by 2017," he said.

Tevita Tu’inauvai Jr. has been appointed as the bank’s new Manager of International Business and Financial Markets.

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