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HFC Bank Donates $15K to Fiji Cancer Society

HFC Bank presented a cheque of $15,000 to Fiji Cancer Society, a culmination of the banks staff vigorous fundraising campaign held in the month of October which was matched cent to cent by the bank.

Rakesh Ram (HFC Bank CEO) said through their ‘Women in Leadership’ initiative, the bank provided our 6 women leaders with the opportunity to plan, coordinate and lead the bank’s Pinktober fundraising initiative.

Mere Cavu (Manager Credit Approvals & Asset Quality), Shilpa Jogia (Senior Business Relationship Manager), Ateca Whippy (Manager Lending Support – Retail), Shimal Naidu (Customer Advocate), Georgina Naigulevu (Senior Manager Applications, Projects & Innovation) and Ashwindar Singh (Manager Retail Assurance) were honored to be selected and they kicked start the bank’s Pinktober fundraising campaign with an awareness talk from breast cancer survivor Ms. Vosita Tokalauvere together with Fiji Cancer Society personal.

This was followed by vigorous fundraising through staff mufti, walkathon, morning tea, kati and Pinktober T-Shirts. Damodar Events, Hot Bread Kitchen, Lami Kava and Vodafone Fiji also kindly stepped in and supported this worthy cause by sponsoring prizes for the Banks Walkathon which was held on 12th October.

The committee acknowledged and appreciate the overwhelming support from the entire HFC Bank staff who collectively raised the highest amount ever contributed by HFC Bank to Fiji Cancer Society. Mr. Ram further added that it was heartwarming to see how the staff worked as a team and fundraised for this worthy cause. With November being the month of prostate Cancer, the bank plans to build awareness by inviting speakers and continue to encourage staff on healthy work life balance.

Fiji Cancer Society confirmed that this donation adds to the much needed financial assistance that is directed not only to Breast Cancer patients but also to other cancer patients in Fiji.

 


HFC Bank Records Steady Growth


HFC Bank supports White Cane-A-Thon

Sponsorship

HFC Bank is proud to announce the sponsorship of $1,500 and donation of 40 t-shirts toward the United Blind Person of Fiji’s White Cane-A-Thon awareness campaign.

A first of it’s kind, the event is aimed at educating and boosting public awareness on the organization’s cause. A total of 40 participants will be part of this historic event, 20 visually impaired persons with the assistance of 20 volunteers will walk from Suva to Nadi from 13th to 18th May 2019.

White-a-thon


Fiji Disability Gala Awards Night 2019

Fiji Disability Gala Awards Night 2019


Ganilau & Nakasi Branch Saturday Closure Notice for 26th January

Saturday Closure


HFC Bank Supports Disability Gala Awards Night

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only 100% locally owned Bank officially became an associate sponsor for the Disability Gala Awards Night after their cheque presentation today.

At the press conference HFC Bank General Manager Finance & Administration Mr. Rajnesh Deo together with the Bank’s Social Club committee members handed over a sponsorship cheque of $5,000 to the Disability Awards Night Committee Chairperson Mr. Rajnel Prasad.

HFC Bank GMFA &Social Club Committee presents $5,000 Chq to UBPF

“This Gala Awards Night provides a platform where we recognize and acknowledge people living with disabilities for succeeding against many odds to excel in their respective fields on a national level”, Mr. Deo said.

He further added that being Fiji’s only locally owned bank it was an honour to co-sponsor Fiji’s 1st ever Disability Gala Awards Night which will help raise awareness, inspire and empower others to excel in their respective fields of work. “This is in line with the Bank’s values and we strongly support and promote fairness, inclusivity and diversity without discrimination”, said Mr. Deo.

Awards Night Committee Chairperson, Mr. Rajnel Prasad said, through the $5,000 sponsorship, HFC Bank is now the naming right holder of the ‘Senior Manager of the Year’ award category. The award recognizes the outstanding leadership skills, contribution, achievement, commitment to professional standards and responsive customer service of managers. Mr. Prasad said they were grateful to HFC Bank for partnering with UBPF in hosting Fiji’s 1st Disability Gala Awards night which will be held at Holiday Inn in March.

There are 6 categories for the Disability Gala Awards Night:

  1. Youth Group of the year
  2. Entrepreneur of the year
  3. Senior Manager of the year
  4. Sports Person of the year
  5. Best Entertainment Group of the year
  6. Premium Awards (Life Time achievement awards)

Nomination forms can be collected from UBPF office at NCDP complex, Brown Street Suva or all affiliates in Fiji.

 


HFC Bank Makes Strategic Moves

Appointment Advertisement


HFC Bank Records Double Digit Profit

Dividend advertorial


HFC Bank takes digital banking to new heights

Digital Banking


HFC Bank Online Payment Solution

Drua Pay ad


MARKET UPDATE 05-Sep-18

The Aussie dollar is reporting gains across the board, courtesy of a better-than-expected June quarter GDP. The Australian economy grew by 0.9 percent quarter-on-quarter, beating the estimated growth rate of 0.7 percent.

Meanwhile, the US dollar largely held onto gains this morning as concerns over emerging markets and risk to global trade relations weighed on risk sentiment. The dollar is expected to remain firm, especially with that surprise beat in the manufacturing data. Their manufacturing activity accelerated to more than a 14-year high in August, boosted by a surge in new orders.

The positive figures helped the US Treasury yields rise to three week high, painting a more optimistic outlook for the US economy.

FX Rates 05.09.18

 

 


HFC Bank Launches First Saver Account

HFC Bank First Saver Account Launch

HFC Bank is proud to be at the forefront of Government’s initiative to empower and support our mothers in an effort to ensure a more sustainable financial future for generations to come!

The Bank introduced its First Saver Account as part of Government’s healthcare initiative in the 2018 – 2019 budget for newborn babies, born on or after 1st August 2018, to encourage early childhood savings.

The Chief Executive Officer, Mr Rakesh Ram said HFC Bank will pay a high savings interest of 2.5% per annum. Mr Ram added that there will be no fees on the account until the child is enrolled in Year 1.

After each childbirth, mothers from families with joint household income of $30,000 per year or less will be given $1,000. $500 will be available immediately and $500 can be accessed only when the child enters Year 1 of primary school.

The parenthood assistance allowance will be given irrespective of the number of newborn babies, said Mr Ram. The newborn baby should be registered under the Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) office. A new bank account will be opened in the newborn baby’s name whilst the mother will act as a trustee.

The procedures to open an account is as follows:

  1. Births, Deaths and Marriages (BDM) office will issue both a birth certificate and TIN to the child, and to the mother (if required).
  2. A signed application form, including the mother’s chosen bank, will be verified by the BDM office and ensures that the following necessary documents are included:
  • child’s & mother’s TIN and birth certificate,
  • the mother’s photo ID with residential address
  • Thereafter, a letter of approval will be issued by the BDM office confirming the account to be opened at HFC Bank.
  1. The mother will submit the letter of approval with the necessary documentations (TINs, birth certificates and photo ID with residential address) to open a HFC Bank account.  This account can be opened at any HFC Bank branch or Agency outlet Fiji-wide and is effective Wednesday, 1st August 2018.

2018 HFC Bank Farebrother Cup & Bainimarama Shield Launched

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HFC Bank Board Director Alipate Naiorosui Speech:

The Chairman and Board Directors of Fiji Rugby Union

The CEO of Fiji Rugby Union

The HFC Bank Board & Management

The Representatives of the provincial Rugby Unions, Players & Coaches

Invited Guests

Members of the media

 

Ladies & Gentlemen

It is my great honour today to launch the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge and the HFC Bank Bainimarama Challenge.

I am proud to announce that this year also marks the 77th year of the Farebrother Challenge. Farebrother Challenge is the FIRST Official Inter-district Rugby trophy in Fiji since 1941 and has grown to become Fiji’s most competitive rugby challenge over the years.

The Challenge this year will be contested by Fiji’s Top 4 rugby unions (Fiji’s Best provincial teams) and the holder of the Bainimarama Shield.

Last year’s Challenge was very competitive and thrilling and all the teams rose to the occasion. We must congratulate Namosi for successfully defending the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge trophy in 2017. We are also looking forward to a successful 2nd season of the HFC Bank Bainimarama Challenge.

At HFC Bank, we have passion for our people. We are Fiji’s Bank and Our vision is To Be Fiji’s Bank of Choice by Serving Our People with Innovative Financial Solutions. We continuously bring competitive financial products that provide solutions to your everyday financial needs. And as our rugby heroes strive on the field to bring glory to their district or nation, we at HFC Bank share the same passion in delivering quality service to you, our people.

Provincial challenges such as the Farebrother Challenge is a platform that inspires our youths to take up rugby as a sport and later this becomes a career path. We are very proud that – players who contested in the Farebrother challenge last year, have been selected to represent FIJI at the 2018 Rugby World Cup Sevens this weekend. I take this opportunity to wish both our boys and the Fijiana Team well in this World Cup.

HFC Bank is honoured to be contributing towards realising the vision of Fiji Rugby Union, which is ‘To be the World Leaders in Rugby’.

With these words it gives me great pleasure to Officially Launch the HFC Bank Farebrother Challenge and the HFC Bank Bainimarama Challenge for 2018. May the best team win.

Vinaka Vakalevu


EXECUTIVE APPOINTMENT

Executive Appointment


HFC Bank Staff Donates

 

PS Karan & HFC Bank Business Banking Staff

PS Karan & HFC Bank Business Banking Staff

HFC Bank GM Retail Banking Tony Ram Introduces Team to PS Karan

HFC Bank GM Retail Banking Tony Ram Introduces Team to PS Karan

HFC Bank staff donated food rations, clothes and other household items for those who were affected by the devastation of Cyclones Josie and Keni. A gesture that staff hoped to make a difference in the lives of those affected.

Donations will go towards the residents of Kadavu who were left homeless and had their farms completely destroyed in the wake of recent disasters.

This initiative was a goodwill gesture from the staff at HFC Bank who gave from their own pockets to purchase food items and also held collections of much needed items brought from staffs own homes.

HFC Bank staff members presented the items to the Permanent Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Yogesh Karan on Tuesday this week. Mr Karan said he was impressed that the donation was a collective effort by staff and thanked them for their kind gesture in assisting those in need. He further added the relief items that would greatly benefit the people of Kadavu would be transported to them as soon as possible.

HFC Bank CEO Mr. Rakesh Ram said, he was deeply moved by their staffs’ initiative and wished all TC Keni and Josie victims a quick recovery.


HFC Bank New Opening Hours

HFC Bank Opening Hours Public Notice


DISASTER REHABILITATION ASSISTANCE

HFC Bank has announced special relief assistance for the customers who have been affected by the flooding and tropical cyclone Josie. This includes relaxation in loan repayments for affected customers and additional loans under the Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Disaster Rehabilitation Package. The Bank can also provide personal loans of up to $1,000 for emergency needs within 2 days from the lodgement of completed applications.
Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Rakesh Ram said “first and foremost, our sympathies and prayers are with all those who have lost their loved ones, those directly and indirectly affected”. Mr Ram said that he was in Ba and Nadi over the weekend and contacted some of the clients who have been affected. The executive team of HFC Bank will be again visiting the customers during the week to assess their needs.
“We at HFC Bank are at the forefront to assist our customers affected by this disaster including any potential customers based on our normal criteria. The customers can contact the nearest branch or account managers for any assistances” he added.
The HFC Bank package does not limit the customers who are based in the affected areas but extended to those who have families or properties in the affected areas, can also seek assistance.


HFC Bank Celebrates its 4th Anniversary

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only local bank, celebrated its 4rd anniversary as a commercial bank this March. The bank officially opened its doors on the 3rd of March 2014.

As HFC Bank’s newly appointed CEO, it’s an honor for me to be part of HFC Bank’s 4th Year Anniversary celebrations – a significant milestone that marks the growth of Fiji’s only locally owned bank.  An accomplishment attributed to the commitment and loyalty of its board, stakeholders, customers and staff.

I am proud to declare that since June 2016, we have recorded a 22% growth in the market with total assets of $853m and ranked 4th largest bank in Fiji. In spite of HFC Bank’s short stint as a fully-fledged bank, HFC Bank has earned a solid reputation for being one of Fiji’s most innovative financial institution, amidst more established banking houses.

Among it’s achievements in the past year, of particular gratification to the Bank was the launch of e-lavo banking services. A first of it’s kind in Fiji and the Pacific; this initiative offers convenience and accessibility to basic banking services through selected agency outlets Fiji-wide in collaboration with Vodafone, Newman and Pacific Financial Inclusion Program.

This financial year also saw the relocations of HFC Bank’s Nakasi branch in Tebara to the new Rups Complex, and HFC Bank’s Boulevard branch to Ganilau House to accommodate the demand and growing numbers to the bank’s customer base with key features being our extended banking hours. Nakasi branch is the only branch in Fiji that offers Monday to Sunday banking services with Ganilau House, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa branches offering Saturday services.

Of notable mention this year was the launch of a much needed bill payment facility offered through internet and mobile banking with major billers like FEA, Water Authority of Fiji and TFL to name a few.

I believe in seeing many more great experiences, expansions and growth for the bank through more innovative banking technologies to ensure a more enhanced customer banking experience. More importantly, to support our growth in the future is the continuous nurturing and development of our staff.

A key focus area for the Bank is our furthered commitment to the people of Fiji and the communities in need. To support this initiative, HFC Bank is looking at adopting a more hands-on approach through the implementation of staff volunteer programs and charitable foundations to allow staff to make a difference in the lives of our communities by giving back to our people.

I am delighted that HFC Bank was the first Corporate Organisation to be recognised and awarded the prestigious Women In Business “Employer of Choice for Women “award in 2016. To further continue our commitment to support women empowerment and diversity in the workplace, we will be establishing a Women’s Leadership Team to affirm support for our women and establish goals for progression. In saying this as CEO it is important to have a corporate culture that includes equality and inclusion for all.

My sincere gratitude goes out to the incredible team here at HFC Bank who have worked tirelessly to bring the Bank to where it stands today! A lot has been accomplished and no doubt we will be facing challenges in the year ahead but I believe that our strength as a team and our local culture will help us continue our journey in taking HFC Bank to the next level.

Vinaka

Mr Rakesh Ram

Chief Executive Officer


Chairman HFC Bank Board announces the appointment of CEO

Chair of HFC Bank, Mr. Tom Ricketts in announcing the appointment of the Bank’s new CEO, Mr. Rakesh Ram, said we are delighted with this appointment. Mr. Ram is an experienced Banker with over 32 years of distinguished service in the Banking industry both locally and internationally. He welcomed Mr. Ram and his spouse, Mrs. Kamlesh Ram to the HFC family.

Mr. Ram was Deputy CEO and Head of Commercial, Corporate and Institutional Banking for the ANZ Banking Group in Fiji. He has also had Regional experience working with diverse cultures and businesses across the Pacific. Rakesh has held positions such as Head of Asset Finance, Pacific Region, Manager Credit Pacific, based in Melbourne Australia, Head of Relationship Banking, ANZ Tonga and Head of Lending, ANZ Samoa.

Rakesh was chosen in a competitive selection process from a strong field of internal and external candidates. During his career he has won several awards Including the ANZ Group Global CEO recognition award and has also been recognised as one of the top 50 group talent across ANZ Asia Pacific, Europe and American Region. Mr Ram is a past award winner of the Fiji Institute of Bankers Corporate Banker of the Year which speaks volumes of the Corporate Banking experience he has. Reflecting on his appointment, Mr. Ram says “I am honoured and excited to have been selected to lead a winning team in a strong aspiring organization and I accept with confidence, determination and the ambition to build further on our success and strengthen HFC Bank’s growth agenda making Fiji’s very own Bank The Bank of Choice for our people. I am excited about taking HFC Bank to greater heights and delivering to the shareholders a profitable return”. With this dynamic team Mr. Ram looks forward to leading HFC Bank to become a highly successful financial institution in the Fiji market contributing to the Banking industry and Fiji’s economy.

Mr. Ricketts added that Customer Satisfaction is our focus and we will develop a winning strategy that will enable us to grow in this very competitive market. Being a fully local Bank, 100% of our profits remain in the country for the benefit of our people.

On a final note both Chairman Ricketts and CEO Ram says they are passionate and committed to placing HFC’s clients at the absolute center of the business and looks forward with confidence to the future.

Mr. Ricketts also thanked Mr. Raj Sharma – Acting Chief Executive Officer for the nine (9) months he led the Bank and looks forward to working with Raj and the HFC Bank team and all stakeholders in taking HFC Bank to the next level. Mr. Ram will commence at the Bank on Monday, 22nd January 2018.


HFC Bank delivers historic results

(L-R Rajnesh Deo (HFC Bank), Suliano Ramanu - Manager Equity (FNPF), Tom Ricketts (HFC Bank Chairman), Elenoa Kaloumaira (UTOF), Raj Sharma (A.CEO), Isoa Makutu (FNPF) ,Tony Ram (HFC Bank)

(L-R Rajnesh Deo (HFC Bank), Suliano Ramanu – Manager Equity (FNPF), Tom Ricketts (HFC Bank Chairman), Elenoa Kaloumaira (UTOF), Raj Sharma (A.CEO), Isoa Makutu (FNPF) ,Tony Ram (HFC Bank)

Key highlights

  • 10% growth in Net Profit
  • 15% growth in Loans and Advances
  • 18% growth in Total Assets

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only local Bank and the 4th largest Bank in Fiji in terms of market share, announced an audited Net Profit After Tax of $7.7m. This is a record high for the company and signifies the promise by the Bank in it’s infancy years to grow and generate superior returns for its shareholders.

Tom Ricketts, HFC Bank Board Chairman said “Although we are on the path to meeting our ambitions, the year had been a challenging one for the Bank. This is a record result, continuing a trajectory of increased but sustainable profits. We are investing in our people and systems in order to grasp opportunities in the market.

Being 100% local means, reinvesting these profits back in the Fijian economy, and eventually it goes back to the people. We will continue to carefully execute our strategies to become more customer-centric, technologically advanced, meeting all compliance requirements, thus becoming an efficient Bank for the benefit of all stakeholders.  We will continue to improve in our governance and risk management platforms, said Mr. Ricketts.

The Net Profit after Tax of $7.7m reflects a growth of 10% from last year. The Bank paid dividends of $3.5m to the Fiji National Provident Fund and $1.16m to Unit Trust of Fiji, comprising a total dividend of $4.66m which will be reinvested in the Bank.

The Bank’s Total Assets reached $827m which grew by 18% from June 2016, the highest achieved by the Bank. This was driven by a growth rate of 15% in loans and advances.

Furthermore, the Bank’s deposit acquisition efforts helped increase customer funding by 21% from June 2016. This clearly demonstrates the success of the Bank’s strategy to diversify its funding sources.

HFC Bank’s efficiency (cost to income ratio) improved due to prudent cost controls and strong revenue generating capabilities.

HFC Bank continues to deliver on its strategy of deepening client relationship. The Bank operates 6 branches in major towns and cities in Fiji and is well positioned to deliver good customer experience with its growth strategies for expansion of its Banking network and through innovative products & services.

The Bank will be completing its strategic review shortly which will consolidate the Bank’s strategies to re-position itself for the future in the very competitive Fiji banking market.

 


HFC Bank-Vodafone Agency Banking now operational

A partnership between the HFC Bank, Vodafone Fiji, the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP) and Epay could see 66,000 Fijians in the rural and maritime areas potential beneficiaries of a new financial service launched today.

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only locally owned bank is the latest commercial bank to announce the launch of agency banking in Fiji, allowing customers to carry out transactions via their mobile phones anywhere (and anytime) and through the Vodafone M-PAiSA agent network.

PFIP provided a grant to assist HFC Bank develop its technology platform and integrate with Vodafone’s M-PAiSA mobile wallet to provide agency and mobile banking service.

This offering will allow customers to carry out transactions either via Vodafone Fiji’s mobile network, or through Vodafone’s point of service (POS) machines available in more than 1,000 outlets around Fiji through an extensive agent network (non-bank retail outlets offering banking and payment services).

Customers will be able to withdraw, deposit, transfer funds, make payments and point of sale purchases. Agency banking has the means to penetrate underserved areas, increasing the access to, and availability of, financial products and services without having to invest in ‘bricks and mortar’ bank branch infrastructure. Vodafone’s agents will act as ATMs, delivering financial services using devices such as Smart point-of-sale (POS) terminals or mobile phones to process real-time transactions.

In addition, the agency platform will be used for account opening and lodging of loan applications, a standout feature different from other agency banking models.

 

HFC Chairman Tom Rickets said “This Agency Banking model makes a leap forward in the way financial services are offered in Fiji, we being Fiji’s only local bank are proud to be at the forefront and the first in Fiji to bring this service to our people.  Rural, semi urban and unbanked customers will be able to open and maintain a bank account from the luxury of their neighborhood convenience stores who are Vodafone retail outlets, once this project is fully commissioned”.

PFIP Acting Programme Manager Krishnan Narasimhan said that with a significant portion of Fiji’s rural and maritime population especially women and youth still under-served by financial services, this agency banking partnership would greatly help towards increasing financial inclusion in Fiji.

 

“The reach and accessibility offered through mobile phones can be leveraged for greater financial inclusion and lead to new use cases for other services like e-ticketing, mobile top ups and payment of bills,” said Mr. Narasimhan.

 

Head of eCommerce & Corporate Affairs of Vodafone Fiji, Shailendra Prasad said “This new service has the potential to bring 66,000 people, including many rural women and youth into the financial inclusion sphere. As we are 100% locally owned entity, Vodafone is proud to partner with the only locally owned bank to extend its mobile platform and Fiji wide reach to offer branchless banking to the Fijian people.  This is as much about inclusion as it is about empowerment.  The HFC Bank/Vodafone and Epay collaboration will bring into the mainstream many of the financially excluded to be part of the mainstream economy”.

 

 

This initiative is being piloted from today at Vodafone branches in MHCC, Damodar City and Valuefone Nausori.  It will be progressively rolled in more stores in the Central , Western and Northern Division by December this year, as a first phase rollout. In the second phase by January next year, HFC Bank Agency Banking agents will also be able to facilitate account opening and accept loan applications (for Personal, Car, Home and even Micro Finance Loans).

By the mid of next year, HFC Bank will be able to expand its banking network to more outlets and over 1,000 Vodafone POS terminals Fiji wide through Agency Banking.

 

About PFIP

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping low-income households gain access to financial services and financial education. It is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government.

PFIP projects have reached over 1.6 million Pacific Islanders with formal financial services.  PFIP projects support policy and regulatory initiatives, provide funding for innovation with financial services and delivery channels, disseminate market information, and empower consumers.

PFIP operates from the UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji and has offices in Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands.

 

About HFC Bank

HFC Bank is a duly incorporated locally owned bank offering Retail and Commercial Banking and Lending products in Fiji. HFC Bank commenced Retail Banking in March 2014 and since has managed to open over 31,000 retail customer accounts which currently make use of electronic, internet and branch banking channels.

 

For more information, please contact:

Erica Lee – Communications Associate; Tel: +679 322 7538
Email: erica.lee@undp.org     Website: //www.pfip.org

Akash Anand – Project Officer Agency Banking; Tel: +679 3239 136

Email: akasha@hfc.com.fj


HFC Bank launches Online Bill Payment Facility

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HFC Bank customers will now have easier access to paying their bills with the launch of the HFC Bank Bill Payment Service.

“This service will allow bill payments from the comfort of your home, office or on-the-go. As part of improving our technological services to our customers, the Online Bill Payment Service is provided through the banks Digital Channels i.e. Internet Banking and Mobile Banking. The service is also available through HFC Bank branches Fiji Wide”, said the Board Chairman Mr. Tom Ricketts.

“We have also developed an easy to follow HFC Bank Bill Payment Customer Guide and these instructions will assist in paying bills in a timely manner. Gone are the days when a Customer has to wait in a queue to pay their bills”, Mr. Ricketts further added.

“With the launch of this service, HFC Bank continues to live up to its vision To Be Fiji’s Bank of Choice by serving our people with Innovative Financial Solutions and Beyond”, said Mr. Ricketts.

HFC Bank is launching the service with eleven (11) prominent billers. Some of which are TFL, Vodafone, Water Authority, FNPF and many more are in the process of signing up.

The Bank continuously strives to keep current with technology and bring services for the convenience of the customer. As such the Bank is working on various projects to introduce other innovative services for its customers that leverage its ICT capabilities within the coming months and is aimed at further strengthening the vision of the bank. Customers can contact our Call Centre on 132 001, visit the nearest HFC Bank Branch or log into our website on www.hfc.com.fj for further information on HFC Banks Bill Payment Service.


New Home Loan facility introduced by HFC Bank

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HFC Bank, Fiji’s only local bank has launched a Special Housing Facility, bringing Fijians closer to their dream of owning their very first home.

The launch was done by the Acting CEO Mr. Raj Sharma at the HFC Bank Head Office in Suva today. “Two important components of an ideal Home Loan are (1) Interest rate and (2) Equity. With HFC Bank, both these hurdles have been made simple for customers. Under this new facility, customers who are buying or building their first home will be able to enjoy a low 4.25% per annum interest rate fixed for 5 years. Customers will also enjoy the benefit of 10% equity requirement under this scheme”, said Mr. Sharma while launching the product.

In line with Government’s priorities in making home ownership affordable for Fijians and initiatives taken by Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF), a facility of $60 million is available to approved lenders to lend to eligible individuals. As such, HFC Bank has designed this package under the Reserve Bank of Fiji Special Housing Facility where a single applicant or joint applicants with an annual income or joint annual income of $50,000 or less, qualify for this scheme.

HFC Bank will offers complete home loan solution with insurance, in-house valuation and in-house security documentation, saving a lot of fees and run around cost to the customer. The package also allows for amalgamation of other personal debt with housing loan provided that non-housing component of the funding is no more than 20% of the total funding.

Whilst equity contribution is low at 10%, customers can take added advantage of the First Home Government Grant scheme. Under this scheme, customers will be able to meet the equity with $10,000 government grant if building or $5,000 grant if buying their first home. Equity contribution can also be met by way of cash, FNPF, and/or collateral security.

 “This presents an ideal opportunity for Fijians to own their first home. As Fiji’s only local Bank, HFC Bank is at the forefront in aligning its products to Government and Reserve Bank of Fiji initiatives that benefit our people and enrich their lives”, Mr. Sharma further added.

Visit your nearest HFC Bank branch to find out more. HFC Bank currently has branches in Suva, Ganilau House, Nakasi, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa.


Pacific Green furniture made affordable with HFC Bank.

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HFC Bank, Fiji’s 100% locally owned bank and Pacific Green have signed a Memorandum of Understanding, making the Award winning, Premium and World Class furniture affordable and accessible for more homes.

The MOU was signed today in Suva by the Acting CEO of HFC Bank Mr. Raj Sharma and the Managing Director of Pacific Green, Mr. Ravin Chandra.

“Through this MOU, we have coupled the furniture packages with our Home and Investment Loans. Which means, if a customer takes a loan from HFC Bank, he/she will be able to add the furniture package to their loan”, said Mr. Sharma.

“This is a great opportunity for customers to own world class furniture. We are giving huge discounts on the furniture packages under this MOU. Discounts go up to 52% on some items said Mr. Chandra.

“We know that owning Pacific Green furniture is something many Fijians aspire because of its world class design, premium quality and local craftsmanship, however many have not been able to afford its premium pricing. Now, with the discount and financing arrangements with our only local Bank, this dream will come true for many and we will see more homes with Pacific Green furniture”. Mr. Chandra added.

HFC Bank continues to explore opportunities for collaboration that benefit the people, as such, this collaborations comes with the common shareholders of HFC Bank and Pacific Green thus synergizing. The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) is the major shareholder of HFC Bank (75%) and is the second largest investor of the Pacific Green Industries (Fiji) Limited.

Visit your nearest HFC Bank branch to find out more. HFC Bank currently has branches in Suva, Ganilau House, Nakasi, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa.


New branch opens at Rups Complex in Nakasi

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only local bank, is opening its new branch in the Rups Bazaar Complex from today 1st July.
The Bank has been operating its Nakasi branch at the Tebara Plaza since 2013. With the growing demands of the customers, the Bank has moved to a bigger and convenient space at the new Rups Complex.
For the first time, HFC Bank’s Nakasi branch will be open 7 days a week with convenient opening hours. This means customers will take advantage of banking even on a Sunday. The Bank will avail full banking services in the weekends, whether it be Loans, Teller services or enquires.
“We are very excited to open this new branch as it is designed with a modern banking concept that will provide comfortable and easy banking to the people of Fiji and especially we are the first bank in Fiji to open on a Sunday with full services” said Acting CEO Mr. Raj Sharma.
The Bank also plans to open its new branch at Ganilau House soon and add other new flagship branches to its network as the Bank enters in the new financial year starting July. The Bank is also introducing Agency Banking through major Vodafone outlets in the Central Division this July. Whilst Agency Banking will increase HFC Bank’s representation points, it will also bring innovative Bill payment facility for the customers to enjoy.
HFC Bank currently has branches in Suva, Boulevard, Nakasi, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa.


ADB, HFC Bank sign first Trade Finance deal in Fiji

Suva,Fiji (29 May 2017) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and HFC Bank have signed trade finance agreements, enabling ADB’s Trade Finance Program (TFP) to provide a credit guarantee facility and revolving credit facility that can support up to USD 4 million of trade annually in Fiji.

 

The agreement was signed by Robert Jauncey, Regional Director for the Pacific, and Vilash Chand, HFC Bank’s Deputy Chairman.

 

“ADB is delighted to be partnering with HFC Bank; Fiji’s only local bank, through the Trade Finance Program,” said Steven Beck, Head of Trade Finance at ADB. “Through this facility, HFC Bank will be able to grow its trade finance operations and finance more importers and exporters, including small and medium-sized enterprises, to expand trade, growth and jobs in Fiji.”

 

HFC Bank is the first bank in Fiji to join ADB’s Trade Finance Program, and the fourth bank in the Pacific to join the program. TFP has operated since 2004 across Asia, and in 2015 the Government of Australia provided financial assistance for TFP to expand to the Pacific.

 

“This partnership with ADB –TFP will provide HFC Bank, a solid platform in the international banking arena while paving the way for our customers to venture into new global markets, using safe and reliable financial products like letters of credit and also obtain financing  at competitive and attractive  rates, ” said Vilash Chand, speaking at the signing ceremony.

 

HFC Bank is a fully fledged commercial bank serving corporate customers, small and medium sized enterprises, as well as consumer segment. The bank was founded in 1962, commenced baking operations from March 2014 and currently holds around 10% of market share in Fijian banking sector. The bank has an asset size of over FJD 835 million.

 

Fiji’s key exports include sugar, copra and other agricultural goods and totaled $2.1 billion or 48% of GDP in 2015. Key imports are machinery, fuels and food, accounting for $2.2 billion or 51% of GDP in 2015.

 

TFP, backed by ADB’s AAA credit rating, provides guarantees and loans to over 200 partner banks to support trade, enabling more companies throughout Asia to engage in import and export activities. With dedicated trade finance specialists and a 24-hour response time, the program has established itself as a key partner in the international trade community, providing fast, reliable, and responsive support to fill gaps in the region’s most challenging markets.

 

Raj Sharma, Acting CEO of HFC Bank said that this agreement opens a window of opportunity for HFC Bank to get access to global banking platform for the trade arrangements of our customers. He thanked the ADB, the consultant Mr. Roger Packham, RBF and his Board, Management and staff for this initiative.

 

TFP complements its financial support with a regular series of workshops and seminars to increase knowledge and expertise in trade finance products and operations, risk management, and fraud prevention.

 

Since 2009, TFP has supported more than 9,200 small and medium-sized businesses across developing Asia — through over 13,000 transactions valued at over $25.5 billion — in sectors ranging from commodities and capital goods, to medical supplies and consumer goods.

 

For more information, visit the TFP website: //www.adb.org/tfp

 

ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, ADB is celebrating 50 years of development partnership in the region. It is owned by 67 members—48 from the region. In 2016, ADB assistance totaled $31.7 billion, including $14 billion in cofinancing.

 


UNCDF Executive Secretary launches HFC Bank’s new financial product in Fiji

Suva, Fiji – About 66,000 people, including many rural women and youth could potentially benefit from a new financial service launched by HFC Bank today.

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only locally owned bank is the latest commercial bank to announce the launch of agency banking in Fiji, allowing customers to carry out transactions via their mobile phones anywhere (and anytime) and through the Vodafone M-PAiSA agent network.

The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme provided a grant to assist HFC Bank develop its technology platform and integrate with Vodafone’s M-PAiSA mobile wallet to provide agency and mobile banking service.

This offering will allow customers to carry out transactions either via Vodafone Fiji’s mobile network, or through Vodafone’s point of service (POS) machines available in more than 1,000 outlets around Fiji through an extensive agent network (non-bank retail outlets offering banking and payment services).

“The services will include withdrawals, deposits, funds transfer, payments and point of sale purchases. In addition, the agency platform will be used for account opening and lodging of loan applications, a standout feature different from other agency banking models,” said HFC Bank Chairman Tom Ricketts.

“It is always about our customers! We understand customers greatly value convenient banking to suit their lifestyle. Hence, it is imperative that HFC Bank align and tailor our financial solutions offering and services to match the lifestyle and needs of our customers” said Mr. Ricketts.

“Customers will be able to easily open and maintain a bank account from their neighbourhood convenience stores who are Vodafone retail outlets, reducing the need to travel to cities and towns to access financial services” Mr. Ricketts further added.

In launching the new financial service, the Executive Secretary of United Nations Capital Development Fund Judith Karl said that agency banking is a potential game-changer for financial inclusion in Fiji.

“Most exciting of all is the potential that agency banking offers to include remote, rural, and often low income, communities in formal financial services through mobile phones.  This is made possible by the extensiveness of Vodafone’s established network and M-PAiSA mobile platform,” she said.

“A significant portion of Fiji’s rural and maritime population remain under-served by financial services, with a 2015 nationally representative Demand Side Survey finding that more than half of rural adults do not have bank accounts, compared with just one-quarter of urban adults,” she added.

Mr. Pradeep Lal, CEO of Vodafone Fiji, speaking during the event said that digital financial services using mobile technology are fast becoming the norm around the world.

“The reach and accessibility offered through mobile phones can be leveraged for greater financial inclusion like never before,” he said.  “We are indeed very delighted as the 100% locally owned mobile network operator to partner Fiji’s only 100% locally owned bank to offer mobile banking services and a wider footprint for HFC Banking outlets through our M-PAiSA agency network.”

“This partnership paves the way for “on the go” financial services 24 hours /7 days a week for greater financial inclusion,” said Lal.

This service is expected to be fully operational from July this year.

 

About PFIP

PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping low-income households gain access to financial services and financial education. It is jointly administered by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government.

PFIP projects have reached over 1.5 million Pacific Islanders with formal financial services.  PFIP projects support policy and regulatory initiatives, provide funding for innovation with financial services and delivery channels, disseminate market information, and empower consumers.

PFIP operates from the UNDP Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji and has offices in Papua New Guinea, Samoa and Solomon Islands.

 

About HFC Bank

HFC Bank is a duly incorporated locally owned bank offering Retail and Commercial Banking and Lending products in Fiji. HFC Bank commenced Retail Banking in March 2014 and since has managed to open over 31,000 retail customer accounts which currently make use of electronic, internet and branch banking channels.


HFC Bank launches account alert services

HFC Bank customers now have easier access to their bank account information with the launch of Alerts facility. The Alerts System provides automatic notification to customers by a Real Time Mobile Message or Email message of any activity on their bank account.

The HFC Bank Alerts facility provides alerts most of general aspects – from a deposit made in account to an overdue loan payments or a maturing Term Deposit to account balances at the end of each day. Customers can also receive alerts on ATM/POS withdrawals, personal cheque withdrawal or dishonored cheque.

“We understand our customers want easy access to their account information, hence we have invested in this facility that provides greater control on your finances through a whole host of customizable alerts.” says Acting CEO Mr. Raj Sharma.

Customers can choose the types of alerts they receive, how they are received, and can take necessary action. Alerts can be delivered by email or SMS text messages. Some alerts can also be registered and set up from the Customer’s Internet Banking facility. Alerts received through customers nominated email account is free of charge. For alerts received via SMS, a fee of $0.30 per alert applies. However, not all SMS Alerts are charged due to HFC Bank initiatives.

“There are security benefits too”, Mr. Raj Sharma said, “as real-time alerts lead to faster discovery, closer monitoring by customers and a proactive approach to the prevention of fraud.”

“We constantly explore to align our services to the rapid change in customer demands and make use of technology to deliver our services. In this age, the mobile phone is the primary source of information for many. With this Instant notification service, customers will know what is happening on their bank account on-the-go. Gone are the days when customer has to wait for a bank statements to see what all transactions happened on their account.” Mr. Sharma further added.

There are a whole host of parameters available on this facility that customers can set to their preference. Customers can call our call center on 132 001 or visit HFC Bank branches for more information.


HFC Bank Celebrates 3rd Anniversary

HFC Bank, Fiji’s only local bank, celebrates its 3rd anniversary as a commercial bank this March. The bank officially opened its doors on the 3rd of March 2014.

The celebrations were officially launched by the Chief guest and Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji Mr. Barry Whiteside at the Banks’ Nakasi branch in Tebara Plaza. The celebrations were also marked at other branches of the bank concurrently amongst customers and friends.

Meanwhile, the bank also surprised their guest of honor, Governor Mr. Barry Whiteside with a special cake and treats marking his 40 years of service to the banking industry in Fiji.

“This year calls many reasons for celebrations” said HFC Bank Chairman Mr. Ricketts. “Its our 3rd Anniversary as a bank, we are celebrating 40 years of dedicated service of Governor Mr. Whiteside and we are also marking the 55th anniversary of Home Finance Company which was established in 1962” Mr. Ricketts added.

“HFC Bank has achieved many milestones in the past 3 years. Firstly, we are extremely proud to be the only local Bank to serve the people of Fiji. Since our launch we have not stopped innovating. We introduced Internet and Mobile Banking within months of our launch. This was followed by an Interchange agreement with Westpac Fiji which allows our customers to transact on Westpac ATMs and EFTPOS (and vice versa). Our pursuit followed an agreement with FRCA to be the first bank to offer real-time custom clearance payment facilities thorough our Internet Banking and branch tellers. We have strengthened our workforce, doubling our staff numbers with job creation. Good governance and policies have been top on our agenda to ensure we operate prudently. Our products are continuously innovated and we strive to offer competitive rates on all of our products”. Mr. Ricketts further added.

Marking the celebrations in the month of March, HFC Bank has launched a Win Cash promotion. There will be 5 customers winning $500 each from each of HFC Banks Nakasi, Boulevard, Nadi, Lautoka and Labasa branches. Customers doing an over-the-counter transactions at these branches on a Saturday will automatically go in the draw to win the $500 cash prize. The draw and prize will be awarded just in time for Easter holidays.

Customers can also benefit from exciting promotions on HFC Banks savings account; currently, the bank is running promotions on two of its deposit products. Customers can enjoy a high interest rate of 4% on a 12 month Term Deposit (fixed deposit) if they sign up during the campaign period.

There is a promotion on the savings account as well. Customer can enjoy a high interest rate of 2.43% on the Viti Drua PREMIUM savings account. With only $10 deposit, customers can open this account. HFC Bank accounts can be accessed from any HFC Bank ATM or from any Westpac bank ATM and EFTPOS Fiji wide.

HFC Bank is proud to be a local player in the banking and financial industry in Fiji – 100% Local, the profits go back to you.


Governors Address – 3rd Anniversary

ADDRESS BY
GOVERNOR OF THE RESERVE BANK OF FIJI
BARRY WHITESIDE
AT THE 3rd ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATIONS OF HFC BANK
4 March 2017

DSC_0056

Mr Tom Ricketts. Chairman of the HFC Bank Board

Members of the Board

Mr Raj Sharma, Acting Chief Executive Officer

Management and Staff

Members of the media

Invited Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

 

Bula Vinaka and a very good morning to you all!

Introductory Comments

I am pleased to join you in celebrating this special day, marking the 3rd anniversary of HFC Bank’s operations as a commercial bank. I always welcome such opportunities to celebrate the achievements of our licensed financial institutions as they confirm to us the commitment and resilience they have to continue to serve our people.

The Fijian financial system has evolved significantly into a modern, reputable and stable one, which has safely steered our economy through the past two decades, and is considered the most advanced amongst our Pacific island countries.

Three years ago when the Reserve Bank of Fiji first received an application for a commercial banking licence by Home Finance Company Limited there was a bit of hesitancy on our part to accept the proposal. However, with the acknowledgement of the performance of HFC as a licensed credit institution for 18 years, the commitment of strong shareholders, and also the strengthening of the Reserve Bank’s own regulatory capacity, it was agreed that it was an opportune time to allow a locally owned bank to operate.

It was, however, not a light decision as HFC Bank will acknowledge, with the Reserve Bank setting high expectations for the institution and continuing to closely liaise on necessary regulatory matters, in line with our mandate of protecting Fijian depositors.

I therefore wish to congratulate the shareholders of HFC Bank, its Board, management and staff for this milestone we are celebrating today, achieved through great dedication and teamwork.

 

HFC Bank

Ladies and Gentlemen, from the humble beginnings of a home loan provider in 1962 and later as a licensed credit institution with services limited to providing term deposits and loans limited to mortgage financing, HFC today boasts a vast offering of financial services akin to other banks in Fiji.

Substantial and necessary investment into its technological platform has also made it possible for the institution to provide secured online banking services which will also soon include bill payment capabilities. HFC Bank has further invested heavily in refurbishing its branches to be on par with other commercial banks and has increased its presence with the installation of its first ATMs.

I acknowledge the Bank for being an active user of the Reserve Bank’s import substitution and export finance facilities. We continue to encourage banks to utilise these services for the benefit of their customers.

Ladies and Gentlemen, HFC’s achievement in this three year period is testament to public confidence in the Fijian banking industry and in a growing Fijian economy. I would like to take this opportunity to make some comments on the significant contributions made by our financial institutions to the growth of our economy, and towards ensuring the maintenance of a sound and safe financial system.

 

The Fijian Financial System and the Commercial Banking Industry

The gross assets of the Fijian financial system stood at $17.5 billion at the end of 2016, nearly twice the size of our GDP. 51 percent of that was held by the commercial banks alone, making the banking industry the most dominant sector in our financial system.

Commercial banks in Fiji have grown in terms of the size of their balance sheets, and the scope of their services and product offerings. They have also extended their reach to areas once unbanked, through their increased footprints and financial inclusion initiatives, including financial literacy.

The range of banking customers in Fiji has also expanded significantly, with banking services provided at the early ages of primary school to tertiary education, and then to the other end of the spectrum acknowledging the importance of our retiree population and senior citizens, who are being offered products designed specifically to meet their financial status.

Commercial banks have also established their presence in Fiji by driving investments through their basic function of intermediation, paying taxes and providing employment. Ladies and Gentlemen, like any other business, all these cannot be achieved without extensive investments by the commercial banking industry.

One just has to look at the significant development in Fiji’s banking infrastructure to understand the extent of commitment made by commercial banks in Fiji to ensure that most Fijians are financially included. The Reserve Bank continues to work with them in this area.

The number of EFTPOS terminals available to our people has increased from 2937 in 2011 to 6081 at the end of 2016, while the number of ATMs increased from 212 to 326 in the same 5-year period. All commercial banks in Fiji have continuously upgraded their core systems, costing millions of dollars, to enhance how they do business and improve services to their customers.  Competition has been strong.

Ladies and Gentlemen, because of the important service that commercial banks provide, it is vital that we ensure that they continue to operate soundly and safely. The soundness and safety responsibility is at the core of the Reserve Bank’s financial stability mandate.  Banks are to ensure at all times that they are well capitalised and earning adequate profits to sustain their operations.  Banking business is a business of managing risks, and it is important that commercial banks have robust frameworks to identify and mitigate the risks inherent in their operations.

Market conduct and consumer protection have also come to the fore of banking in recent years. Commercial banks in Fiji are continuously reviewing their processes to ensure that these issues are managed effectively.  The Reserve Bank of Fiji expects all banks to prioritise customer complaints and ensure the efficient and effective resolution of these at all times.

The banking sector, in the coming months, will embark on further improving its payments infrastructure by participating in the Fiji Interchange Network Payment system, or what has often been referred to as a national switch. Having a central national switch will further allow the efficient provision of payment services and in due time provide cost savings for banking customers.

 

Closing

In closing, I would like to again congratulate HFC Bank on achieving 3 years of commercial banking, but also HFC as a financial institution for having served the people of Fiji for the last 55 years.

As the institution’s regulator, it would be remiss of me if I do not remind the HFC board and management of the importance of the task they have ahead of them, which includes their duty to serve the public interest by ensuring a good governance environment and a strong risk management culture.

We wish HFC Bank the very best for the future, and look forward to the many years of great service that they will provide for all Fijians.

Vinaka vakalevu!


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