Departure creates opportunity


THE departure of foreign-owned banks from the retail banking space provides an opportunity for others to fill the void after they leave, according to the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Responding to the queries from The National, vice-president Ian Tarutia said that was an opportunity to set up more locally-owned banks in country.
Prime Minister James Marape recently warned commercial banks, which he said were planning a possible exit that they could regret the decision with a possibility of not returning to the country calling out Westpac and ANZ.
“The country certainly needs more banks in addition to BSP (Bank South Pacific) and Kina Bank,” Tarutia said.
“It is timely for smart thinking, innovative local investors to look at establishing the next successful BSP or Kina Bank story.
“PNG Chamber Commerce and Industry acknowledges the contribution of Westpac and ANZ to the country’s development since their establishment over 100 years ago but respects their decision if they wished to leave PNG.
“The silver lining is the opportunity to set up more locally owned banks to increase banking services throughout the country, especially at grass roots level.”
ANZ, in a recent statement, reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining institutional and corporate banking operations in PNG.
ANZ PNG managing director Mark Baker said: “We have spent time restructuring our businesses across Asia, including in Papua New Guinea, in recent years to allow us to fully focus on our core business, servicing large local corporates and multinational corporations.”
Westpac PNG recently said that its customers could be assured that it was here to serve the country through various support systems.