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Banking woes continue to plague Nauru

Uncertainties force banking downgrade

Uncertainties in initial assessments on Nauru Island were behind the Bendigo and Adelaide Bank’s decision not to establish full commercial operations or a community bank as planned. The bank had proposed to open a community bank on the island last year and sent a team to carry out due diligence and assess the situation on the ground. Bank senior media and communications manager Lauren Andrews told Islands Business from their Adelaide headquarters that they had carried out their assessment into establishing a community bank on the island this year.

“Uncertainties have surfaced during the course of this work and at this point in time the Bank has decided not to proceed with establishing a Community Bank branch,” she said. “We remain committed to working with the community and helping them re-establish banking services in Nauru.” The bank will instead opt for a reduced agency service for the population of 10,000 where they can deposit, withdraw and maintain their accounts. Andrews said an agency could return banking services to the community, and in a shorter time frame than it takes to open a branch.

“This could be a viable solution for Nauru, as it’s an alternative service we successfully offer in about 100 Australian communities which haven’t yet established a Community Bank branch.” However she also said it was still too early for the bank to comment on what banking services an agency in Nauru might offer.

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