Westpac's Pacific Island withdrawl has stumbled at Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands

A young boy from the Taunono community looks on after the village was destroyed by Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu in March. UNICEF via Getty Images

Westpac has completed the sale of its operations in three Pacific Island nations but has stumbled at the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The bank announced it has sold its business in the Cook Islands, Samoa and Tonga to the Bank of South Pacific Limited, Papua New Guinea’s largest bank, for $91 million.

However, the proposed sale of Westpac’s Vanuatu operations will not go ahead because of the local economy is still recovering from Cyclone Pam in March this year.

“The Reserve Bank of Vanuatu decided that now is not the time for a change of operators in the country’s banking sector,” Westpac said.

And the proposed sale of Westpac’s Solomon Islands operations isn’t going ahead because approvals have not been given by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands. Talks are continuing.

Westpac is keeping its businesses in Fiji, where it has been for 114 years, and Papua New Guinea where it was the first bank in 1911.

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