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ANZ commits $7m to boost rural presence

ANZ commits $7m to boost rural presence

ANZ today announced it would commit up to $7 million during the next three years to strengthen the presence of its Rural business in New Zealand.

The announcement coincides with ANZ's tenth anniversary as Major Sponsor and Strategic Partner of the New Zealand National Agricultural Fieldays at Mystery Creek.

ANZ's Head of Rural Wayne Besant said the needs of clients in rural areas were evolving rapidly and the bank needed to boost the number of Rural Managers in the field and invest more heavily in training to strengthen ANZ's presence as a leading provider of rural financial solutions in New Zealand.

"We're not as strong as we'd like to be in the rural market in New Zealand. If we want to enhance the personalised support ANZ provides to clients and expand our business, then we've got to invest further in our people and build our capabilities by recruiting additional Rural staff," said Mr Besant.

ANZ will add up to 10 new Rural Managers to support clients in the King Country, Waikato and South Canterbury regions in the next few months. The bank will also invest in further support and training for all Rural Managers to ensure they continue to excel in meeting the changing financial needs of clients.

ANZ's association with Fieldays extends back more than 30 years, when the bank provided finance for the very first Fieldays at Hamilton Race Course - security for the loan was just one coil of copper wire. ANZ also financed the purchase of the site at Mystery Creek and more recently, the development of the Mystery Creek Events Centre and the Pavilion extension.

"Fieldays is a natural fit for ANZ which has a long history of working with Kiwis on the land to help them grow their personal and business wealth," said Mr Besant.

"In the same way Fieldays grew from a small idea and a coil of copper wire, ANZ's Rural business is focused on fostering innovation and invention and helping clients turn their smart ideas into reality," he said.

ANZ's support of Fieldays joins a range of other initiatives by the bank to support farming in New Zealand, including raising awareness of sustainable farming through the Balance Farm Environment Awards and encouraging clients to further develop their strategic farm management skills through ANZ's Rural Scholarships program.

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