Tuesday, 12 October 2010 8:49 AM

Westpac (SI) Celebrates a Quarter of Century Serving the Community

Westpac this week celebrates a quarter of a century of serving the Solomon Islands Community with a cocktail function for customers, employees, government officials and visiting new regional General Manager of Westpac Pacific, Greg Pawson.

The celebrations began earlier this year when the Bank launched its Save and Share
Promotion. Funds raised through the sale of the piggy banks were donated to various
charities around the country. Recipients of the funds included the Bethesda Disability Training and Support Centre, the San Isidro Care Centre and the children's ward of the National Referral Hospital.

"We've come some way since we opened here following a request from the then prime
minister, Solomon Mamaloni and then purchased the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation's South Pacific operations in 1988," said Craig Lonergan, General Manager, Westpac Solomon Islands.

"A quarter of a century of service is a significant milestone and a great achievement
that we're very proud of. In such a small community as ours, we understand that we
play a critical role in the strength and stability of the local economy. It's a role we take very seriously and we appreciate the responsibilities that come with it."

"That's why we have a sustainability agenda that's focused on ensuring the long term
viability of our business and equally important, on building on the sustainability of
the locally communities we serve," said Mr Lonergan.

"We're also very excited by our Financial First Steps workshops. These free
workshops aim to improve the financial literacy of school, church and community
groups and are run by our team members."

"Soon, we'll be complementing these workshops with business skills training
sessions, providing small to medium size local enterprises with good practical
knowledge on running a successful business."

Mr Lonergan attributed the longevity of Westpac's Solomon Islands business to their
loyal customers and their employees who take great pride in contributing to the
community.

"I think this is one of the reasons why we have loyal and committed staff members.
They're not afraid of getting their hands dirty! They're as much a part of the
community as is Westpac's long term commitment to the country," said Mr
Lonergan.