His questions stem from the recent banking glitch experienced by BSP Group, which affected banking services for members nationwide.
Lelang stated that complaints about the quality of services offered by the country’s commercial banks were mentioned over the last year, especially the many fees charged from the services provided, banks sold or partially sold in recent times, and the extra money found in bank accounts and money lost; the non-improvement of mobile banking, internet banking, and long ques.
“It is parliament’s sacred duty and responsibility to not only protect the citizens and their hard earned savings but to enforce compliance on the bank of PNG to enhance banking transparency and by way of legislation and amendment,” stated Lelang.
Lelang directed questions to the Prime Minister. Was he was aware of the bank fees, extra undisclosed sums of money into bank? If the government has instructed the bank of PNG to investigate? If commercial banks in PNG are fully transparent to the public? And if there are plans to introduce reforms to the bank and financial institutions to improve banking supervision and transparency.
PM Marape responded saying: “I am aware of the fees and charges and I also acknowledge it is extremely high but in an environment of person operation they do indicate to us the high cost of doing business here and the charges but as a government we always advise them to minimize the levels on fees and charges and make sure the operational environment is safe and conducive for our users. We have engaged with the Central Bank to work with them more closely and ensure services are improved hopefully going forward to the future for fees to be minimized or reduced.
“For the transactional error that took place around the Easter Weekend I want to inform the house that before the roll out of the system that was made, I was informed by BSP that they’re making a system change and that there might be a glitch. I want to take note that we will get a report of all scope of the glitch in the roll-over and BSP as a responsible bank is trying to update its financial systems as we have real time transactions and modernized financial system that carries there operation here and overseas,” said Marape.
He state that BSP have given assurance to have a computerized system for transactions. Marape assured that the government has worked with the Central Bank to ensure they look into the issue of the commercial bank and make sure they are not overly aggressive on the public and market.
“There is a need for other commercial banks to enter into our economy as transactions are getting bigger as well as the people who are unbanked because of the confidence in current commercial banks especially for the informal sector, that banking proposal is being supervised fully by Minister for State and Enterprise and at the end of this year or earlier.
“We have also asked Central Bank to open the market…It is prudent on government of the day to look into these reforms to ensure it anchors the growth of the economy that is taking place and for us to go forward, Treasurer has been working on this area and some reforms have been made to central bank to be more responsible, prudent and have a play in the economy,” said the Prime Minister.