BSP Financial Group Limited has closed its Padipadi Sub-Branch in Alotau, Milne Bay Province indefinitely, following an attempted armed robbery on Thursday 12th May, 2022, by a gang of up to 20 criminals.
BSP CEO Robin Fleming said fortunately no staff were seriously injured despite being assaulted during the course of the incident that occurred around lunchtime.
“This is the second such attack on BSP at Padipadi with the previous robbery in 2016, then in May of 2018 where an ATM was stolen at Hagita Estate and never recovered. A BSP ATM at the Alotau International Hotel was also stolen by criminals in January of 2019.
“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.
The indefinite closure at Padipadi, at which BSP was the only bank in the area, follows temporary closure of BSP branches at Henganofi due to a break in incident, Koroba and Yangoru due to law and order issues. Like Padipadi, the only bank operating in Koroba and Yangoru is BSP.
As the only bank that operates in rural areas, Mr Fleming appealed to communities to provide the support to BSP by ensuring that the provision of these services is not put at risk.
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.
Customers in the meantime can utilise our Digital Banking Platforms; Mobile Banking, Internet Banking, BSP Pay, Mobile Merchants, EFTPoS or BSP Agents for their banking needs.