Pacific’s dwindling banking services in the spotlight

Poppy Johnston |

The closure of Nauru’s only bank, the Australian Bendigo Bank, is scheduled to happen in 2025.
The closure of Nauru’s only bank, the Australian Bendigo Bank, is scheduled to happen in 2025.

Turning the tide on disappearing banking services in the Pacific will be discussed by policymakers, financial institutions and international organisations at a forum in Brisbane.

A world-wide trend of financial institutions paring back or withdrawing services is hitting the region hard, prompting Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and United States President Jo Biden to establish the Pacific Banking Forum.

Co-hosted by the two countries, 300 people will take part in the two-day event – the first of its kind – including Pacific leaders as well as representatives from commercial banks and international organisations such as the International Monetary Fund. 

The talks will dig into the causes of withdrawing correspondent banking relationships, which are where financial institutions provide services on behalf of another bank, usually in a foreign country.

Australia’s Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones will deliver the opening address on Monday.

“Australia is committed to our Pacific partners, and a sustainable financial system is integral to the strength of our region,” he said.

AAP