Prime Minister Manasseh Sogavare, made the remarks while opening the bank’s newest branch in Honiara yesterday morning.
The first fully-fledged BRED Bank branch is located at Commonwealth Street, Point Cruz in the heart of Honiara.
Speaking on behalf of the Solomon Islands Government has commended acknowledged that BRED Bank invested in excess of one-hundred million Solomon Island dollars to set up its Solomon operations with no direct Government assistance.
“I would like to believe that this is an investment decision taken by the company after a careful analysis of the investment environment in the country,” he stated.
“No doubt it had to take a lot of winking at the possible threats and challenges to the successful operation of any business in the Solomon Islands,” the Prime Minister added.
The Bank which employs 70 nationals strives for gender balance in its recruitment practices.
“This is highly commendable, especially in a country where the ideals and morals of gender equality are struggling to take root.
This is a policy choice deserving of commendation,” said Prime Minister Sogavare.
Prime Minister Sogavare further acknowledged that BRED Bank Solomons already has more than 4,000 customers and is managing over $680 million in deposits and over $460 million in lending in less than 30 months of operations in-country.
“This is $460million pumped into the development of targeted sectors in the economy”, he said.
The Prime Minister further added, “not only is this an achievement worthy of commendation, but it also speaks volume of the level of trust that the Bank has on the credit-worthiness of Solomon Islanders and the business-worthiness investment environment in the country”.
Prime Minister Sogavare encourages Owen Thomson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BRED BANK to consider expanding the Bank’s services to the provinces to create healthy competition in the rural areas.
The opening of this new branch has been welcomed by local customers.
A customer said, the long ride over from West Honiara to Kukum in East Honiara would now be a thing of the past.
BRED Bank Solomons is an “A-Rated International Bank” with its headquarter in Paris, France, and focuses on international growth.
It commenced operation in August 2017.
It also had operations in Fiji and Vanuatu.