Kina Bank has a goal to transform the financial services industry in its native Papua New Guinea (PNG). Alongside bold ambitions for growth and leveraging new technologies, it’s also focused on building a better future for the country by addressing social issues.

We spoke to the executive general manager of shared services, Adam Fenech, about what it means to operate in a developing economy. 

The financial services environment in PNG is a challenging one with relatively flat economic growth, liquidity constraints and foreign exchange shortages. Yet Fenech says it’s also a country of great resilience.

Building world class digital capability 
“Behind the scenes amazing things are happening and it’s exciting,” he tells us from the bank’s headquarters in Port Moresby. 

“Imagination is one of our key values. We’re energised by the opportunity to make a difference by building a bank that is progressive and accessible and one that will revolutionise the financial services industry in this country. There isn’t room for anything other than a dynamic approach.”

We’re excited to be at the forefront of new technologies and we want to be seen as digital leaders.

This dynamic approach has seen Kina Bank work on developing one of the most up-to-the-minute core banking and wealth management systems in PNG. Fenech explains:

“We’re excited by being at the forefront of new technologies and we want to be seen as digital leaders. To help us succeed we know we need strong strategic partners.”

“We’re engaged in significant projects to build world-class digital capability and are striving to bring new technologies to our customers. We’ve introduced things like an online member portal and mobile app to provide Papua New Guinean superannuation (retirement fund) members with access to their fund information via any device.”

To help us succeed we know we need strong strategic partners.

The emphasis on shaping customer experiences and identifying where technology can help runs alongside its strategy for growth. If its plans to acquire Australia and New Zealand Banking Group PNG’s (ANZ PNG) retail, commercial and SME businesses gets regulatory approval, it will make Kina Bank the second largest bank in the region.

But growth and transformation in financial services in PNG isn’t all the bank has its sights on.

Serving the community 
In addition to its strategy to be at the forefront of digital innovation, Kina Bank has a genuine interest in doing the best for the communities it serves and recently this has taken the shape of improving employment.

“As we look for opportunities to expand our distribution network, products and services, we also want to benefit our country by bringing new jobs to PNG which are currently performed offshore and to help get more young Papua New Guineans into work.”

We want to bring new jobs to PNG which are currently performed offshore.

Youth unemployment is one of the country’s biggest social issues, and last year the bank launched a specific initiative to help address it.  

Adam explains:“In October we announced details of ‘Project Wok’ - our education program in partnership with charity Project Yumi. The charity’s mission is to enrich the lives of Papua New Guineans by providing valuable educational and health resources that support communities throughout the country. 

Mentoring and training for young people
“Our joint program aims to ensure students have the right skills and experience to build successful careers. We are providing face-to-face training sessions, individual coaching and support from members of our team in roles as mentors as well as offering participation in a work experience scheme. It is currently in pilot with Kina Bank staff children but it will be opened out to schools in Port Moresby who are of eligible age.”

Giving back to the communities in which they operate is not only helping to build a better future, it’s a major step forward in helping to grow trust and confidence in financial services. This is a story many businesses can take inspiration from.

Adam Fenech 2018 Executive General Manager, Shared Services.
2013 General Manager, Wealth.
Previously at Bankers Trust, Colonial First State Investments, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and PwC
Bachelor of Commerce from the University of New England.
MBA and Master of Project Management from the University of Southern Queensland.
Executive education programs at Harvard Business School and the National University of Singapore. 
Member of both the Australian and PNG Institute of Company Directors and is a Non-Executive Director of PNG Registries.

Kina Bank Established 1985 as a diversified financial services company. Listed on both the Australian and Port Moresby Stock Exchanges. June 2018, Kina Bank announced the proposed acquisition of ANZ Papua New Guinea’s retail, commercial and SME businesses, which would include all retail branches, ATMs and EFTPOS terminals. The proposed acquisition will make Kina Bank the second largest bank in PNG.