SHARON E BARNABAS
COMMERCIAL banks in Port Moresby closed their doors early yesterday after the tsunami alert, adopting a “better to be safe than sorry” attitude.
Many customers who went to the bank were turned away.
Some companies and Government organisations could not credit the salary of their employees into their accounts, leaving employees frustrated.
Bank South Pacific (BSP) wasted no time in closing all its branches in “vulnerable locations” throughout the country and in Solomon Islands and Fiji.
“Upon receiving the warning, the executive management took the decision to close as did other banks and businesses,” managing director and chief executive officer, Ian Clyne, said.
“We viewed this as potentially serious because of the recent tsunami disaster in American Samoa and Samoa where many lives and property were lost.
“The safety of our staff is of prime importance, and the warning that is ignored is the one that causes damage, thus it is better to be safe than sorry,” he said.
Mr Clyne said that the closure did not impact most clients as the majority “are Kundu card holders and so have access to their savings” but he urged others who were inconvenienced to understand the situation.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Corporation (ANZ) also closed its doors.
ANZ official Mea Ravu said they had to close for the safety of their staff and clients.
He said they did not take such (tsunami) warnings lightly, especially from reliable sources.
It is believed that other commercial banks in the city did the same.