The National Bank of Samoa (N.B.S.), a locally owned and operated commercial trading bank, has many reasons to celebrate.
This week, the bank is hosting a series of initiatives to celebrate their 20th year anniversary culminating in a public function to be held at the Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey’s Hotel and Bungalows on Friday evening.
From its humble beginnings as a family owned and managed business in the mid ‘90’s, N.B.S. has grown to be a major player in the Samoan banking and commercial sectors.
This Friday, the Board of Directors and Management of N.B.S will host a formal function to thank customers, staff and suppliers and also to recognise and celebrate the Bank’s achievements.
In 1995 the Meredith family started the bank when they saw a need for a local bank to support Samoans and Samoan businesses. This was the start of something special.
Chief Executive Officer, Tu’u’u Amaramo Sialaoa, the company’s eighth C.E.O, and the first “local” to lead the bank said he is privileged to be the C.E.O of a Samoan owned bank which is quite simply “punching above its weight.”
“Today N.B.S offers a full range of services to customers, both personal and business. These includes savings accounts, cheque accounts, loans, overdraft facilities through to a comprehensive offering of international services,” Tu’u’u said.
Over the past 20 years, N.B.S has undergone many changes as it grows and reinvents itself to meet the changing needs of the market.
The C.E.O notes that “more recently the bank has had to undergo significant changes to keep up with the changing banking environment, driven by customer demands, advances and adoption of new technologies.
“We continue to ask our customers what they want and keep abreast of new banking and information technologies. An example of this is the full upgrade the Bank's IT system carried out last year, so the bank can now claim to have the latest Oracle banking platform allowing us to better respond to customers' information needs.”
“I’m absolutely proud of how the bank has changed and is able to match the large overseas owned multi-national banks,” Tu’u’u said.
“Not only are we now able to match technology-based services, but our flexible and nibble approach to business means we are able to innovate quickly and hence in areas we lead the market.”
However the company’s financial performance is only one measure of the Bank’s success.
“We aspire to be a good corporate citizen and do what we can to help our community and the Samoan economy. We have a number of new goals and strategies to assist our customers such as reducing the cost of banking and thus bank fees and charges for customers, curtailing loan interest rates at low levels whilst offering sustainable return for depositors and the like.
“To achieve this we have to look at our business in a different way. We have to earn the support of our people, embrace new technologies, foster strategic business partnerships, and take more modern approach to the way we run our business.
“One of the major benefits of these initiatives is that we are providing our customers with greater access to banking services via new media such as mobile phones, internet banking and smarter ATM’s,” Tu’u’u added.
"But we also want to facilitate a positive change in Samoan's attitudes and approach to saving and investment, and we will be looking at some new products to help achieve this. We see these as part of our social responsibility obligations."
As the Samoan economy grows and becomes more reliant on exports and tourism, N.B.S will be there supporting business and customers through smart personalized services and technologies.
Chairperson, Matai'a Lynn Netzler, says the company is very proud of its Samoan roots and its ability to better the competition.
“Not only are we able to offer our customers great products and services, but the profits the bank achieves, a measure of its success, are retained in Samoa and able to be reinvested back into the community and business,” she said.
The function on Friday 12 August is an opportunity to celebrate the contribution N.B.S has made to the Samoan community, and acknowledge the support of all its customers, vendors and stakeholders.
“We couldn’t be more pleased to be hosting N.B.S’ 20 year celebration,” said Lupesina Fred Grey, Director of Grey Investment Group.
“Our business relies on the support of our local banks which enables us to remain based in Samoa and investing in our Samoan businesses.
"Given its a two way relationship I believe it's fitting that N.B.S has chosen to hold their special function at our flagship hotel, Sheraton Samoa Aggie Grey's Hotel & Bungalows.”
The 20th Anniversary function is invite only and expected to be attended by representatives from the Government, corporate, international community and Church leaders.