The Pan-Oceanic Bank Chairman, Mr Upali de Silva said his company is optimistic about achieving progress based on the overall economic growth projected by the Democratic Coalition for Change Government.
Mr de Silva made the remarks when he and the POB Chief Executive Officer, Nihal Kekulawala visited Prime Minister Hon Manasseh Sogavare this week.
He assures the Prime Minister, POB hopes to experience a corresponding surge in growth.
De Silva says, the bank is adamant that the 5 percent economic growth projected by the government will ultimately improve its operation in Solomon Islands as it expands to other provinces, notably, Malaita and Western Province by mid this year.
Supporting Mr de Silva’s remarks, the POB CEO Mr Kekulawala said the bank will soon embark on expanding its operations, firstly by installing Automatic Teller Machines and afterwards setting up branches in the provinces.
Mr Kekulawala said DCC’s land reform policy will free up land in the rural areas and bring about investment to the rural communities.
He said at the moment the bank operates out of Honiara with more than 7000 customers.
Mr Kekulawala says, this will change soon as the bank develops a broader customer base.
In response, Prime Minister Sogavare thanked Mr de Silver and Mr Kekulawala for calling on him and enlightening him on the progress of POB’s operations.
He is impressed with the progress the bank made since it started operation last July, as it now has a branch at the Panatina Plaza.
Mr Sogavare says, he is keen to see POB unlock opportunities in the rural areas by offering the rural populace, especially farmers who lack financial services offered by other banks, more chances to utilise its banking services.