ANDREW ALPHONSE and SHEILA LASIBORI
BANK South Pacific (BSP) has cancelled the 2% charge on every deposit and withdrawal of K5,000 at its branches nationwide.
“We have listened to our customers’ views on this new fee and have cancelled the 2% cash handling fee on cash deposits over K5,000 and replaced it with a cash counting service fee of a flat K20 for any cash deposits over K10,000 (or cash and cheque deposits where the cash component is over K10,000),” BSP’s chief executive officer Ian Clyne and general manager for retail banks Kevin McCarthy said in a statement.
This cancellation was effective from last Friday, just two days after the 2% charge fee was introduced on Wednesday.
This comes after customers complained that the bank was charging too many fees despite reporting an excellent financial position for the first half of this year ending last June 30.
Mendi businessman Joe Kunukunu, who is also the council president for South Wiru local level government (LLG) in Pangia, Southern Highlands province, while expressing dissatisfaction claimed the BSP was unkind to him and others like him.
Mr Kunukunu claimed former PNG Banking Corporation (PNGBC) was friendly to customers in terms of bank fees.
He claimed that BSP was unfriendly to its customers, forcing them to pay extra fees knowing well that they now enjoyed a near-monopoly in the commercial banking sector in Papua New Guinea.
Mr Kunukunu said with the new 2% fees, some customers were reluctant to bank with BSP and might want to return to the ancient way of taking the risk to keep money at home or bury them in the back yard.
He described the fee as “very unfriendly and being shoved down our throats.”
A BSP staff in Mendi said soon after 2% fee was introduced, effective last Wednesday, there were some dissatisfaction expressed at the Mendi branch by disgruntled customers.
“We opened for normal duties and yes, there were some customers who were not happy when they realised that we imposed the 2% fees for every K5,000 deposited,” the staff said.
However, the BSP executives refuted claims that Mendi branch was closed reportedly for having no money.
“Neither Mendi branch nor any other BSP branches have closed due to cash shortages. Mendi did not close and had sufficient cash funds,” Mr Clyne and Mr McCarthy said.