New women’s bank in top 50 ranking - Solomon Star News

New women’s bank in top 50 ranking

19 November 2014

THE NATIONAL - Papua New Guinea's first female micro bank has been ranked  one of the 50 leading women companies from the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC).

Women’s Micro Bank Ltd chief executive officer Thushari Hewapathirana said since opening its doors in August, its customer base had now reached 10,000.

Women in Papua New Guinea were given the opportunity to have a bank to meet to their banking needs when the Bank of Papua New Guinea issued a financial business licence in May.

Bank of PNG Governor Loi Bakani had challenged every woman to open an account with the bank so by next year, so the bank should have half a million customers.

Hewapathirana said most of their customers were from the informal sector.

She said women were good entrepreneurs however lacked the access to get the financial assistance to start their own businesses.

Hewapathirana said it would cost K30 for a customer to have a Meri Savings Account with the Women’s Micro Bank.

Individuals 18 years of age and above are eligible to open accounts with the bank.

She said the bank was working on a new product to involve those below the age of 18 to have accounts with the bank.

The loan products available to all women customers are Kwik Loan, Meri Business Loan, Community Based Organisations Loan and SME Loans.

She said the savings products they offered were Meri Savings Account, Interest Bearing Deposit (IBD) Account and the School Savings Account.

She said the bank opened its first outside branch in Madang last month with more than 2000 customers. Other Women’s Micro Bank branches will open in Wewak, Lae and Goroka in the next two months.

- The National