ANZ launches financial literacy program in Samoa

APIA: 28 September 2010: ANZ launched a new financial literacy program in Samoa that will enable Pacific staff and their communities to improve their financial skills, knowledge and confidence.

Money Minded Pacific was introduced to ANZ employees in Samoa on the 13th September 2010. This program has been progressively introduced to Pacific countries where ANZ operates and is scheduled for completion by September 2010.

Money Minded Pacific is the first of its kind designed specifically for a Pacific audience and was launched in Fiji in February this year.

The program will initially be introduced to ANZ staff across the region prior to the introduction of a community-based version by early next year.

The program teaches participants savings tips, budgeting skills, skills to be able to say ‘no’ and information about credit and loans.

CEO Steve Rogers stated: “Introducing this initially to our staff will ensure our people can role model financial literacy in their local communities. It also means they can help members of the local community when the community-based version of the program is introduced next year.”

The introduction of Money Minded Pacific builds on financial literacy and inclusion programs ANZ has developed in partnership with community organisations in Australia and New Zealand, including programs developed for Australia’s Indigenous communities.

Money Minded Pacific complements ANZ’s flagship rural banking and micro-finance initiatives to rural and remote areas using mobile banking centres as part of ‘Banking the Unbanked’ program.

The Rural Banking or ‘Banking the Unbanked’ initiative has operated since 2004 throughout the Pacific and has reached nearly 60,000 people in remote communities, who now collectively have over USD$2 million in savings.

ANZ also supports a range of local community projects across the Pacific, such as solar ATMs in the Solomon Islands and a reforestation project for a primary school in Timor-Leste.

The introduction of Money Minded Pacific delivers on two of ANZ’s Corporate Responsibility priorities -financial capability and rural development.

ANZ has operated in the Pacific for more than 130 years and employs more than 2,000 staff in 12 Pacific countries.

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