The National, Tuesday October 22nd, 2013
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
COMMERCIAL banks have been forced to withdraw services in several rural centres because of theft and vandalism, according to the Bank of Papua New Guinea.
The central bank expressed concern over the closure of these rural branches and agencies in a newspaper advertisement last week.
BPNG Governor Loi Bakani said: “Theft and vandalism of financial services has been a costly exercise … these financial services are meant to ease the burden and reduce risks faced by people travelling long distances into towns to access banking services.”
Bakani said services provided by the commercial banks were a costly exercise and the closure of branches in rural areas would affect the people.
Bank South Pacific said in a statement yesterday the safety of its workers and the security of its branches and properties were vital for the bank in providing financial services.
“BSP is hopeful that the closure of our banking operations in Zenag would encourage communities throughout PNG to appreciate the economic damage that the deterioration of law and order has on every district, town and city and the economic consequences that such issues has on future sustainability of the town if BSP is forced to withdraw its services.”
“People and leaders must take ownership of their community in a law-abiding way and work with government and law enforcement authorities to ensure law and order in concerned areas and surrounding regions is guaranteed.”
BSP branches that have been closed as a result of theft and vandalism are Zenag (Morobe) Ialibu (Southern Highlands), Laiagam (Enga), Kwikila (Central) and the temporary closure of the Hoskins (WNB) and Banz (Jiwaka) branches.