Fleming says security issues affecting businesses


LAW and order issues affect all businesses in the country, says Bank South Pacific Financial Group Ltd chief executive officer Robin Fleming.
The bank in recent weeks closed around four branches, the most recent one being Padipadi sub-branch in Alotau, Milne Bay.
Fleming said: “What is more damaging to BSP and its customers are the holdups, attempted break and enters at sub branches and in certain instances larger branches, that result in our staff safety being put at risk and damage to bank property.
“Branch closures for broader law and order issues are generally for a day or so only and while all customers are affected when the branches are closed, BSP is normally the last business to close with many other businesses having already closed and sent their staff home well before BSP does.
“The number of customers affected will depend on the location of the branch but when we are forced to close due to such incidents, we also remind customers that our mobile banking and digital banking platforms remain available and can be used for transfers, top-ups and cash withdrawals at ATMs.
“Unfortunately, there will from time to time be law and order or civil commotion issues that result in businesses in towns, including BSP, having to close for a period of time until the situation stabilises.
“These types of issues affect all businesses.
“In more remote sub-branch locations, these types of holdups can and do result in branches being closed for extended periods, and the only people who suffer as a result of the actions of criminals are our customers.
“It is difficult to quantify the direct costs to the bank of law and order issues but on an ongoing basis BSP has to employ a fulltime security team of more than 400 staff to provide static guard security, cash in transit security, as well as physical branch and ATM security.”