The island with no bank branch is a ‘guiding light’ for all

Wednesday July 01, 2020 Written by Published in Local
Bank of the Cook Islands staff with the 19th birthday cake. From left: Kalieanne Warren, Sina Saiau, Nga Teao-Papatua, Elisabeth Mariri Tatuava, Managing Director Vaine Nooana-Arioka, Ron Patia, Xenia Kae, Esmond Mackenzie, Flora Pauka. 20063006 Bank of the Cook Islands staff with the 19th birthday cake. From left: Kalieanne Warren, Sina Saiau, Nga Teao-Papatua, Elisabeth Mariri Tatuava, Managing Director Vaine Nooana-Arioka, Ron Patia, Xenia Kae, Esmond Mackenzie, Flora Pauka. 20063006

Palmerston is leading the Pa Enua in creating an almost cashless society.

The people of that little island are an inspiration for the rest of the Pa Enua, said Bank of the Cook Islands managing director Vaine Nooana-Arioka, at the banks 19th birthday celebrations yesterday.

Nooana-Arioka said she felt humbled and overwhelmed by the bank’s milestone.

“This is a fantastic achievement, not only by the staff but also for our customers who have supported us over the years, we wouldn’t be here without our customers nor forgetting they are who we are here to serve.”

Not forgetting the Pa Enua and finding ways to overcome the challenges of living on those islands and how the financial services can be delivered that are deserving of them in the way that they need, she said.

The bank has branches on all the inhabited islands except for Nassau and Palmerston.

Nassau continues to bank through Pukapuka, and the bank has focused on training and would like to have Nassau almost replicate how Palmerston operate.

The Palmerston is set up is a guiding light in terms of how we would like to the rest of the Pa Enua to bank, said Nooana-Arioka.

However, she said there is a place for branches, as there are certain times when you need to speak with someone who is understanding of island situations.

“But a large majority of how we help our Pa Enua can be done through the digital services… with the improvement of telecommunications to those islands.”

Some highlights are the introduction of the Vaka Mastercard, “the recognition our customers to take up the Mastercard, that was one of our major achievements.”

During the Covid-19 period the bank was able to deliver on the relief packages that the customers needed, “we have had a strong history and strong support from customers, regulators and all the stakeholders.”

“The delivery of the Covid-19 packages and the 0.25 interest rate reduction that comes into effect today, is a testament to a well managed, well rounded bank.”

Nga Teao-Papatua has been a loyal customer of the bank for many years, “I’m very thankful that the organisations I belong to, bank with the peoples bank, my prayers are for the weeks celebration.”

“My heart is for our people to bank with the Bank of the Cook Islands the peoples bank,” said Teao Papatua.

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