The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) says through a press statement today (May 31) that Bank South Pacific (BSP) over the years has been recording high performances including considerable profits declared and has done so again as recently announced for its 2017 financial period despite a very challenging economic and business climate last year.
ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said that whilst there are many areas that contribute to the growth and above market performance, it is the ICCC’s strongest view that the high interest rates on loans, bank fees and charges May have played a significant part in the above market performance of BSP over the years.
“As the Consumer Watchdog, the ICCC is empowered under section 6, 104, and 105 of the ICCC Act to represent the interests of consumers who are directly or indirectly affected by the goods or services provided by the businesses, in this case, the Bank South Pacific.” Mr Ain said.
Mr Ain said that over the years, consumers have been complaining about increased bank fees and charges applied by BSP including high interest loan rates but the Bank however has been giving minimal attention to these complaints and meanwhile the consumers savings gets deducted until their account is red or empty.
“How can we encourage Papua New Guineans to have a savings culture when the banks continue to deduct their very savings in their accounts, this is unfair to the customers?”
Mr Ain said, this is “Commercial Theft or Robbery” on the consumers and “denying them the opportunity to make a reasonable savings.”
Given the Bank’s recent declaration of its 2017 income to increase by K1.99 billion and its assets to increase by K22.4 billion, Commissioner Ain said, it would be fair to share some of these positive returns with the struggling consumers of PNG by removing some of these fees and changes and also reducing the interest rates so the clients can enjoy the benefits together.
Source: Press Release