BSP Financial Group Limited (BSP)’s sub branch at Navo in West New Britain Province was broken into over the weekend with significant damage caused to BSP property. BSP Navo was set up to assist the local community who otherwise would have had to travel to Bialla, which is one hour out, by road.
In addition to this incident, BSP’s ATM at Napanapa in Central Privince was also subject to damage due to a break and enter incident at the Napanapa site, within which the ATM was located.
BSP Group General Manager for Retail Daniel Faunt said both incidents come at significant cost to BSP and have now resulted in the indefinite closure of the Navo Sub- Branch and the permanent withdrawal of the ATMs service at Napa Napa.
“These most recent incidents follow a spate of similar incidents across BSP’s network in 2022 due to law and order issues throughout the country. BSP’s sub branch at Henganofi in the Eastern Highlands remains closed due to two (2) break and enter incidents this year. BSP’s sub branch and staff at Padipadi in Milne Bay were subject to incidents which has resulted in the withdrawal of staff from this location and the closure of this sub branch. BSP sub branches at Kabwum in Morobe, Chuave in Simbu and Daulo in Eastern Highlands have all suffered from break and enter incidents this year also and remain closed until further notice,” Mr Faunt said.
BSP Group CEO, Robin Fleming said, “BSP operates a network of 86 branches and sub branches located in all the provinces of PNG with many of these branches operating at significant loss to BSP. BSP recognizes the importance of the provision of banking services to all communities in PNG and does so as part of its core values of community.
“In 21 of these locations, BSP remains the only commercial bank providing banking services and unlike its competitors goes to locations that no other bank would consider. Whilst there is a need for banking services in these communities, criminal attacks such as this puts the safety of BSP staff at risk. The safety of BSP staff takes priority,” Mr Fleming added.
Mr Fleming also said that the Additional Company Tax of K190m a year being charged to BSP means that the bank will need to give far more consideration to whether branches that are subject to robberies should be re-opened.
Despite the law and order challenges that continue to confront BSP, new branches have been opened in Koroba, Hela, Palmalmal, East New Britain, Namatanai in New Ireland Province, Eriku in Lae, Morobe and in December a new Lending centre will be opened in the NCD.
Mr Fleming has requested all communities to take care of the banking services that have been provided to them to avoid the closure of these branches.
BSP apologises for this inconvenience and encourages its customers to use its digital banking platforms, like BSP USSD Mobile Banking, BSP Personal Internet Banking and BSP Online Business Banking, which are safer and more convenient.