BSP Financial Group Limited (BSP) has reopened its Kerema sub-branch on 6thSeptember, 2021, after eight months of shutdown since 14th December, 2020, following breaking and entering of the branch.
On 12th December, 2020, the BSP Kerema sub-branch was broken into by criminals with approximately K220, 000 in cash stolen. As a result of the theft, the sub branch was closed for all most 10 months to allow for police investigations to be carried out and for recovery of as much of the proceeds of the robbery as possible. BSP also had to carry out repairs to improve security at a cost of more than K200,000, with the Gulf Provincial Government providing financial support for the repairs and upgrade of security.
In reopening the sub branch, BSP Group CEO Robin Fleming said, “while BSP is pleased to return and resume services for the people of Kerema and the Gulf Province, this is the third instance where BSP has reopened doors due to theft and robbery at the local branch. Any further criminal act against Kerema branch will make it difficult for BSP to once again consider re-opening the sub branch.”
“BSP sub branches in rural areas are increasingly becoming frequent targets of criminal activities, which not only cost money for BSP to repair the damage caused but also puts the provision of banking services at risk for customers who rely on BSP in their local communities,” said Fleming.
He added that: “BSP is the only bank that has representation in Kerema, no other banks are willing to offer services in this province, or many other areas in PNG. We call upon the people of Kerema to support and look after the bank facilities that provide essential banking service for the community.”
BSP's NCD Area Manager Dennis Lamus and the Waigani Drive team infront of Kerema Sub-Branch before opening on Monday
BSP Kerema is one of the 21 locations in PNG where BSP is the only bank operating and withdrawal of services would have a detrimental impact on the community. Not only does the bank provide banking services but also investments in supporting the development of the township through its annual community projects in health, education, sports, culture and Financial Literacy.
Despite the cost associated with running 42 branches and 42 sub-branches, BSP is committed to expand and extend its services to cater for the number of customers it has. Proof of its commitment to its customers was the recent opening of a larger sub-branch at Namatanai, New Ireland Province, in July. The bank is actively working to open new banking centres in Eriku, Lae, and in Mt Hagen to cater for its high number of customers.
The Kerema sub-branch reopening its doors on 6th September, 2021, will provide essential banking services once again to the people of Gulf. The Bank is calling on all stakeholders, the local community to take care of the branch and its staff as it is the only bank willing to serve the people and residents of Gulf Province.