We did it without govt help: CEO


BANK South Pacific Financial Group Ltd provided services in the rural areas of the country without any support from the Government, chief executive officer Robin Fleming says.
Fleming said this following the Government’s dominant player levy that it announced in Parliament yesterday.
“BSP also continues to bear a disproportionate responsibility of provision of banking services to the population at large in PNG.
While BSP is a profitable group, it also goes to great lengths to ensure that it provides services to the population at large as part of the social licence that is inherent within a banking licence.
“BSP is the only bank in PNG that has branches in every province and the only bank that maintains and operates a network of sub branches for customers in rural areas of PNG,” Fleming said.
Fleming said the majority of their 37 sub branches employed 142 people were mostly not profitable and those that were profitable were only marginally so.
Fleming said this year alone, BSP had committed more than K3.5 million in capital to upgrading or opening sub branches in Kikori, Koroba, Namatanai and Palmalmal.
An additional K1.5 million had been committed to upgrading the Telefomin sub branch next year.
He said BSP had opened sub branches in remote areas that had power supply and communication issues.
However, he said by providing banking services to the rural majority, this had improved the lives of many who would have otherwise struggled to access financial services.
He added that a number of sub branches had also been affected by law and order issues.
“Our sub branches at Henganofi, Aiyura, Kerema, Okapa, Daulo, Kerowagi and Banz have been closed temporarily following break-ins or robberies.” He said despite these risks BSP had continued to maintain branches in these provinces and districts because it would benefit the majority people.
“The provision of these rural services by BSP is not supported by any tax credit or community support obligation tax deduction regime from Government, and there is no subsidisation of the costs of the sub branches by Government,” Fleming said.