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BSP PNG | BSP Financial Group Limited (BSP) has reopened two (2) of its branches in the country after its operations were subject to security issues last year.
BSP Retail Group General Manager Daniel Faunt said these branches are among 21 locations in PNG where BSP is the only bank operating and complete withdrawal of services would have a detrimental impact on the community.
“Despite the cost associated with running 42 branches and 42 sub-branches, which too often become subject to criminal activities, BSP remains committed to expand and extend its services to cater for the number of customers it has. Not only does the bank provide banking services, we also invest in supporting the development of the townships through our annual community projects in health, education, sports, culture and Financial Literacy,” Mr Faunt said.
BSP Pangia Sub-Branch in Southern Highlands reopened its doors on Wednesday 11th January, 2023, after it was closed for more than two (2) months due to operational issues.
BSP Navo Sub-Branch in West New Britain Province which closed on Monday 21st November, 2022, following a break and enter incident reopened its doors on Thursday 9th February 2023.
“While BSP is pleased to return and resume services at Navo, any further criminal act against bank staff and property in the area will make it difficult for BSP to once again consider re-opening the sub branch,” added Mr Faunt.
Koroba Hybrid Branch in Hela Province was also closed in 2022 due to law and order issues and that branch remains closed until the situation improves. BSP Chuave Sub-Branch remains closed indefinitely after the office complex, which BSP operates from, was ransacked during the National elections in August last year. BSP’s Porgera Branch was closed on Monday 9th May, 2022, following security concerns, mostly related to the 2022 National General Elections and tribal fighting in the Porgera Valley. BSP was forced to repatriate staff and their families out of the province for their safety and continues to monitor the situation with a view to reestablishing its branch operations as soon as it is safe to do so for its staff.
In 2022, BSP opened new branches in Palmalmal in Pomio, East New Britain; Namatanai in New Ireland, Eriku in Lae, Morobe, Lending Centre in NCD with work commencing on branches in Dobel, Mt Hagen, Western Highlands and Telefomin, West Sepik both of which will open in 2023.
BSP acting GCEO, Ronesh Dayal commented that ‘It is a very costly exercise to run banking services in remote parts of the country, especially when no other bank is willing to go, given the financial and security risks associated with it. BSP is the only bank bringing services to these parts of the country and that commitment must be reciprocated,”
Mr Dayal reiterated the need for the people and the leaders of the communities in which BSP branches are located in, to look after its staff and facilities to ensure continuity of banking services.