Prominent bankers of Nepal, community members of the Nepali Diaspora including banking specialists met and engaged in a fruitful discussion in Melbourne on Saturday (15th February, 2020) – thanks to a unique initiative by Melbourne Mind Express.
Various matters of community interest were discussed, which included extending Nepali banking services to Australian cities. The need for such services has stemmed after noticing an upward spike in using unreliable and illegal means of money transfer to Australia by members of the community. Just recently, dozens of Nepalis using the Hoondi system were duped – exposing the shortcomings of using such measures.
Attending Nepali bankers, in return made a commitment to convey the message to policy makers and key stakeholders of the banking industry, in particular to Nepal Rastra Bank, towards enabling a system of easy remittance between Nepal and Australia.
In an introductory session, Dr. Binod Atreya, Director of Banking, Finance and Insurance Institute of Nepal (BFIN) explained the leadership program had been organized for the development of the executives and directors of Nepal to cater to the growing Nepalese banking industry. He thanked Victoria University, the Consulate Office of Nepal to Victoria, Westpac Banking Corporation and Melbourne Mind Express towards making the initiative a success.
Shubhi Pandey , operation manager of Kubota Australia stressed on compliant requirement arguing it to be a non-negotiable component of successful business.
“Compliance is a precaution, not a cost”, she further stressed and urged all business owners and entrepreneurs within the Nepali Diaspora to take extra precautions while operating any business in Australia. Mrs Pandey, who is leading an Australian chapter of a multinational company, and an inspiration to several community members, especially women, shared her expertise with the community members. She answered several questions raised by journalists, local leaders, business owners and community members.
Sandip Babu Poudel, the youngest CFO of Mega Bank Limited was very optimistic and promising towards the possibility of expansion of banking service of Nepali banks in Australia and to the global market. “Nepal is preparing itself for its standard review by international financial regulatory authorities which is due in year 2021. It is a must win test for the Nepalese finance industry, as it will open windows for our trade finance and global expansion plans”, he said.
“The banking industry is tirelessly working with the Ministry of Finance and Nepal Rastra Bank to reform required policies to accommodate international investors, especially NRNs” said Shailendra Guraigain, Director of Sunrise Bank limited and Gopi Krishna Naupane, Director of Machhapuchchhre Bank Limited.
NRNA Australia President, Keshav Kandel raised serious concerns regarding the approach of Nepali banks toward interest rates being paid to foreign investors in their Fixed Deposit accounts. He also urged the delegate to conduct an open discussion towards working out long-term and comprehensive solutions to investment and remittance security in the Nepalese market.
The visiting delegates also visited the state Headquarter of Westpac Banking on Friday, the 14th of February. They met with Irene Yu, Director of Multicultural Banking, and other members of Westpac. Ms. Yu shared a presentation of Westpac services dedicated to the migrant community, and, on behalf of Westpac, expressed her willingness to assist the growing Nepali community in Australia towards their banking concerns. The tour was organised by Mr. Sudeep Maskey of Melbourne Mind Express, who is also a banking specialist in Westpac Banking Corporation.