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Capital Structure and Shareholder/Director Profile
POB is a fully owned subsidiary of Pan Oceanic Investments Pte Ltd, a company incorporated in Singapore. Bank’s Share capital as at 31st December 2020 is SBD 30.55 Mn and the retained earnings recorded as SBD 97.96 Mn as per the audited balance sheet. The Directors of the company as at 31st December 2020 are as follows:
– Mr. M.U de Silva
– Mr Gary Cheah Keng Chong
– Mr Michael Lam Ee Hiung
– Mr John Angikimua Thuhaika Jr.
– Mr Avanthi Jayatilake
– Mr Toh Chin Gong
– Mr Melvin Wong Teck Wei
– Mr Wilson Rano
– Mr Ranjith Hewagama
– Mr Jayaraja Chandrasekara (Alternative Director to Ms Avanthi Jayatilake)
– Lawrence Wong (Alternative Director to Mr Melvin Wong Teck Wei)
*Messrs. Gary Cheah Keng and Melwin Wong Teck Wei are also directors of the parent Company.
Incorporation and Legal status
Pan Oceanic Bank (POB) is a limited liability company, incorporated on 18 April 2013 and domiciled in Solomon Islands. It is a licensed commercial bank incorporated and governed by the Companies Act 2009 and the Financial Institutions Act 1998. The registered office of the bank is at Coopers Brother Limited, Komi Fera Building Pako, Commonwealth Avenue, Honiara.
Some salient feature of POB operations
POB is a fully fledged commercial bank having its Head Office at Level 1, Hyundai Mall, Mendana Avenue, Honiara, Solomon Islands, and a Branch Office at Panatina Plaza, Kukum Highway Honiara, Solomon Islands.
POB’s principal activities include Retail, Corporate, Commercial, International Trade, Treasury operations and general banking services. POB’s business model, products and services offered are all consciously adapted to suit the specific needs of an economy growing at a moderate pace. POB’s superior range of products and services are specifically tailored to meet the varied needs of Micro, Small and Retail sectors of the local economy, as part of the bank’s unwavering commitment to ensure inclusive financial growth and a technologically adept banking industry that will in turn facilitate a new digital payments revolution across the Solomon Islands.
POB has strategized to take a full retail and middle market approach to commercial banking in order to capture the larger margins offered at the SME/Commercial sector and to win the largest trade share (currently at 60% of all export volumes). POB already has the leading market share of 30% of overall trade and has a 15% share of the deposit/lending of the market. 62% of Solomon Island’s total export revenue relates to the logging and timber industries which forms the backbone of the SI economy, and nearly 90% of this business now goes through POB. Furthermore, by the end of December 2020, POB has managed to secure 80% of the foreign exchange revenue on total fuel imports in to the Solomon Islands.
The bank’s strategy is to spread its risks through offering its facilities to the many smaller SME/Commercial borrowers rather than risking at upper level lend to a few larger customers. POB maintains its status as the best “Speed to Market” on decisions and products, apparently making POB the most customer friendly bank in the Solomon Islands.
Offering the most convenient and simple banking experience at fingertips, POB offers solutions to unbanked Solomon Islanders living far away in provinces (in eight islands scattered around the Guadalcanal Province) using an Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) by mobile phone users to open accounts from their home or office and perform transactions without having to visit a POB bank branch. POB’s convenient mobile banking application is perfect for customers who own smart phones that are always on the move but still need access to a complete range of banking services. Following introduction of internet banking to Solomon Islanders, POB has now identified expansion of Digital channels as the priority area, which will be actively supported by the Government.
Having captured major part of local banking business in Solomon Islands, POB will continue to focus more on Fee based income offering competitive rates in Foreign Exchange operations, International Trade Financing, Letters of guarantee and general trading business.
Solomon Islands being the host of Pacific Games 2023 to be held in July 2023, will bring ample business opportunities to banking sector, and POB is on the move to attract Corporate business arising from the Games.
POB’s Value Proposition
There are 4 Commercial Banks operating in Solomon Islands including 3 Foreign Banks. POB believes that the following factors give it the ‘cutting edge’ over its competitors:
– Local incorporation.
– ‘Speed to Market’ (All decisions are locally made compared to branches of foreign banks where the decisions makers are based overseas with little knowledge of the local market).
– Best local knowledge.
– POB’s slogans “Empowering the Nation” “Your local bank” are seen by the local population as “Our bank”.
– Ability to develop strategic partnerships without lengthy “bureaucratic” layers and same applies to making decisions that is of strategic importance.
– Innovation is quick and simple with POB; it is a one country operation.
Quality of the Risk management systems at POB
Banks as financial intermediaries are subject to a multitude of financial and non-financial risks such as credit, interest rate, exchange rate, liquidity, commodity price, legal, regulatory, reputational and operational etc. In the interest of its stakeholders, which also include the public at large, POB is having robust risk management systems in place in terms of risk identification, assessment and control to avoid or mitigate the adverse impacts arising from unwarranted exposure to these risks.
The key management team from Sri Lanka consists of well qualified experienced bankers and their professionalism in the designated roles is a major strength in the progress of POB.
Management team of POB:
Upul Hettiarachchi – Chief Executive Officer
Sathya Jayasuriya – Chief Operating Officer
Gary Balasingham – Head of IT & Digital Banking
Bernard Weerasinghe – Manager International & Treasury
Neville Jayawardena – Manager Credit
Chandana Tillekaratne – Manager Risk & Compliance
Anura De Silva – Internal Auditor
Achan Chandula – Accountant
Market and Industry overview
The Solomon Islands is a sovereign country consisting of a large number of Islands in Oceania lying to the east of Papua New Guinea and northwest of Vanuatu and covering a land area of 27,986 square kilometers. The country also occupy around 900 miles over the South Pacific Ocean. Solomon Island’s population is 721,000 and Per Capita GDP is USD 2,367-, The real GDP growth rate is 4.47%.
The Solomon Islands is a constitutional monarchy with the Queen of Solomon Islands, currently Queen Elizabeth II, as its head of state. Manasseh Sogavare is the current Prime Minister of Solomon Islands.
The Solomon Islands’ agriculture products are cocoa, coconut, palm kernels, rice, potatoes, vegetables, fruits, cattle, pigs, fish, timber and its main industries are fish (tuna), mining, timber, and gold.
Interest rate trends
The Interest Rate of Solomon Islands Monetary Policy Statement indicates that Weighted Average deposit rates in the market have stabilized at 0.5% by the end of December 2020. In fact, these rates have hardly changed during the last decade. On the other hand, Weighted Average Lending rates stood at around 10.0% by the end of 2020. Interest rate spread remained around 8.5% throughout the year 2020.
Private sector credit trends
With the improvements in infrastructure facilities to cater to Pacific Games in 2023, private sector credit has picked up and is expected to grow upward in the next couple of years. This increasing trend and growth are expected to expand further connecting other sectors such as tourism, new industries, health sector, etc. Structural liquidity levels in the banking system remains high and there are opportunities to expand Private sector Credit.
Foreign investments have begun to flow in and the country’s untouched resources could be used to optimized leading to economic growth. With expected boom in the economy, CBSI expects higher growth in GDP of Solomon Islands. In line with higher growth, a drop in inflation is also expected.
Banking industry prospects –
Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) forecasts a slower recovery of 1.5% growth in 2021 following the recession estimated in 2020. However, rebound is anticipated for the fisheries and construction sectors, in particular, infrastructure development related to the pacific games that would be beneficial to the services sector. The vaccines roll out in the second quarter of 2021 will be an added boost to this growth. Moreover, CBSI is optimistic of a positive impact on the demand for Solomon Island’s exports, going by the IMF forecast of Global economic recovery and 5.5% growth in 2021.
CBSI also anticipates Solomon Island’s economic growth to pick up to an average of 3.5% with high growth concentrated in 2022 to 2023 between 5% and 6% from booming construction activities for the pacific games and other national projects.
Performance highlights of POB
|Capital Adequacy Ratios
Tier 2-Total Capital
|– Earnings growth %||25%||17%||18%||19%||31%|
|– Dividend growth %||25%||17%||18%||19%||–|
|– FCFE growth (before divs.) %||-16%||65%||24%||24%||–|
|– Total Asset growth %||55%||18%||22%||23%||23%||5%|
|– Risk Weighted asset growth %||13%||9%||9%||13%||–|
|– ROE %||21%||23%||23%||24%||24%||27.8%|
|– Loans/Deposit ratio (LDR)||0.75:1||0.70:1||0.60:1||0.51:1||0.43:1||0.75:1|
|– Gross Loans/Deposits ratio||0.78:1||0.74:1||0.65:1||0.58:1||0.51:1|
“Be the leading financial institution in Solomon Islands by enabling financial
inclusion through innovation and commitment to Micro, Small and SME sectors”
Established in July 2014, Pan Oceanic Bank (POB) is the Solomon Island’s first and the only local licensed commercial bank. Incorporated under the Banking Act of Solomon Islands, POB has enabled rapid, organic growth in the domestic market through a strategy aimed at National needs.
Since inception, POB has been one of the Island’s best performing banks, consistently outperforming the industry to record exponential growth. This growth trajectory is in alignment with the proactive approach of POB that entails a constant search for valuable new sustainable growth opportunities. Backed by an innovative spectrum of products and services, POB is actively working to infuse the banking industry of Solomon Islands with best practices, as part of its long-term strategy to support the effective development of new economic opportunities.