By SHIRLEY MAULUDU
BANK South Pacific Financial Group Ltd (BSP) does not have a K1,000 limit on cash deposits for its personal retail customers, group chief executive officer Robin Fleming says.
Fleming was responding to questions raised in Parliament on Wednesday by East Sepik Governor Allan Bird where ordinary Papua New Guineans were having issues with depositing large sums of money at commercial banks.
“Around the country, our small people are harshly dealt with by the banking system,” Bird said.
“They are not allowed to deposit K1,000 in cash.
“Eighty per cent of our people are not in the formal sector. They operate in the informal sector, which is largely cash based.
“I have issues in my own province where small business people or just family operations struggle to go and deposit cash in the bank.
“I understand that there are issues with money laundering. None of the small people are involved in money laundering.
“Why can’t the limit be raised? Why are the banks penalising the small people?”
Governor Bird said when directing questions at Treasurer Ian Ling-Stuckey.
However, Fleming yesterday told The National: “Our approach to our anti-money laundering programme is based on a know your customer principle and the risk profile of our customers and the intent of the application of these polices is not to put barriers in place for customers who have legitimate earnings from the informal sector that they wish to deposit with a bank. In certain instances where the amount of a deposit is unusually large, there may be additional questions asked but in the majority of instances this should not result in a deposit being rejected.
“We are aware that in some areas a branch may have asked for a deposit to be made to a business account instead of a personal account and our further investigation has revealed that as the individual was in the informal sector, the cash should have been deposited to the individual account.”
By SHIRLEY MAULUDU