National Australia Bank’s decision to wind up its USD correspondence banking in Vanuatu has nothing to do with EU blacklists or its disdain for Vanuatu’s tax regime.

As you may have heard, National Bank of Vanuatu (NBV) is losing its USD correspondent banking relationship
with National Australia Bank (NAB). This is the last in a series of blows for correspondent banking in Vanuatu
and it will certainly further impair our USD clearing capabilities. It is certainly worrisome for the health of local banks like NBV and Wanfuteng, that are not part of larger, transnational financial institutions.

Before we can find a solution to this problem, we should start by agreeing on the cause. Unfortunately, this is where imaginations have been running wild. I’ve been hearing a lot of people question whether this decision by NAB was somehow related to our jurisdiction being blacklisted by the European Union, or to the activities of our International Finance Centre, or to NBV not being as professional and efficient as other banks in Vanuatu. In all cases, let me assure you that the answer is a resounding No!

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