GOVERNMENT-owned National Development Bank (NDB) is going to acquire a retail banking licence to expand its operations.
This was revealed on Monday by Minister for Finance and Treasury Peter O’Neill to the bank’s stakeholders in Port Moresby.
O’Neill said with the granting of the licence, NDB would be in a better position to provide banking services to rural communities.
“The government has rehabilitated NDB so it can be positioned to obtaining a ‘retail banking licence’ so that millions of our people in the rural communities who remained unbanked can have access to banking and financial services,” he said.
He said the bank had made a strong financial come back from a period of insolvency in 2004 and is now in a better position to expand its services to the public.
O’Neill said the improvement in the balance sheet position of NDB from a net asset of K15 million in 2004 to more than K160 million this year was a positive sign for the bank and its clients.
Bank managing director Richard Maru said once the retail banking licence had been obtained, the bank would start collecting deposits from the public.
NDB chairman William Lamur also echoed this sentiment, saying the bank “has leaped from great debts and is now in a better position serve its clients”.
He said the next aim of the bank was to operate on its own with little or no help from the state.