No response from BPNG, commercial banks frustrates treasurer


TRESURER Ian Ling-Stuckey is frustrated that Bank of PNG and commercial banks are not quick to respond to issues concerning deposits of large amounts of money by ordinary Papua New Guineans.
He told Parliament this yesterday when East Sepik Governor Allen Bird raised a series of questions involving ordinary people getting asked too many questions when they were making deposits at 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. Eight 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?
“People are really struggling to put food on the table. Who made this decision? Was it the cabinet?
“Treasurer? Was the decision made on the floor of Parliament?
“The Central Bank?
“What do we plan to do as Government to undo this major injustice to our small people?”
Long-Stuckey responded: “The issue of cashing cheques with commercial banks is frustrating and has angered both businesses and those that deal with Government.
“We have had meetings with the key stakeholders, Bank of PNG, CEOs of commercial banks and the departments of Finance and Treasury, and Fasu (financial analysis and supervision unit) to resolve it.
“Since those meetings, there has not been much appetite from the Bank of PNG and our commercial banks to try to resolve this problem.
“It has been really disappointing.
“The solution to this problem is that we need the Bank of PNG, the regulator, to accept that this is the number one problem and using its powers it can then make the appropriate directives.
“When you speak to the commercial banks, they will justify the rules that they come up with when they ask during deposit, are all driven by legislation, the anti-money laundering and Counter Terrorism Financing Act.
“Because of those laws, they are forced to ask a whole number of questions. I need the corporation of the Bank of PNG to make it easier for the small people to bank in commercial banks.
“If they do not make decisions in the near future to ensure that our guidelines set to them are followed, we in Government may be forced to make decisions for them.”