ANZ Bank Cook Islands country head Jason Murray, right, and bank’s relationship manager Bronwyn Clark. PHOTO: AL WILLIAMS 22101909
The national economy is recovering with a return of confidence in the market, new ANZ Bank country head Jason Murray says.
Jason Murray, along with his son Xavier, 16, landed on
Rarotonga this week to look after the bank’s retail and commercial banking
business in the Cook Islands.
Murray, who has just spent three years at the helm of
the bank’s commercial operation in Kiribati, said there has been steady
recovery here since March, with a positive outlook as the result of a bounce
back in the economy.
The 47-year-old, who hails from Queensland, has a long
career in the financial sector, specifically with the ANZ group.
He started straight out of high school as a teller in
a bank, and moved around, basing himself mainly in Bundaberg.
“I prefer smaller communities,” Murray said.
He said the Kiribati operation was similar in size,
staffing levels, and challenges, to the Cook Islands.
For the ANZ in Cook Islands, the challenges included
digital connectivity and remoteness, specifically around Covid-19, Murray
“Over the Covid-19 period we have invested heavily in
digital platforms and staff.
“We have set ourselves up to support customers on the
road to recovery, and that is already happening. Supporting customers and
Murray is set to be posted in the Cook Islands for the
next three years and plans to indulge in some fishing and surfing here while
balancing his professional responsibilities.
He also loves football and rugby league, but at 47, admits
he’s a little bit past getting out on the field for a match.
Murray takes over the role from New Zealander
Bernadette Shaw who left the country in May this year to take up an appointment
as ANZ Bank country head for Timor-Leste.
Shaw landed on Rarotonga in 2019 to take up the role
of leading the Cook Islands ANZ Bank.
She helped lead the bank through a period of “unique
challenges” during the Covid-19 pandemic.
ANZ Cook Islands relationship manager Bronwyn Clark then
took over, acting in the country head role. Clark has been on the ANZ Cook
Islands leadership team for over six years.