By Martha Louis – EMTV News, Port Moresby
A joint report by the Bank of PNG and the World Bank has found that most rural communities have no available financial services, and rural villagers travel distances to access a bank branch or ATM, automatic teller machine.
Those especially lacking are women and rural Papua New Guineans who do not own any formal financial products, such as a bank account or a loan. The report was from a survey carried out in Morobe and Madang provinces.
The report uncovered differences between rural and urban Papua New Guineans; and how they are managing their money, and how they access financial services.
The report also calls for improvements in expanding financial services, such as banking to rural Papua New Guinea and to women in general.
Women are less involved in financial management decision making in their own families and are more likely to be financially left out unlike men.
Another barrier was language; most documents are written in English. Other important findings saw the need to make changes to financial products, services and programs.
Financial education programs need to be modified and delivered to the people, moreover there is a lack of understanding of financial products and services.
Bank of PNG Assistant Governor, Ellison Pidik, said women are mostly left out, unlike men, due to PNG culture. As a result, they are left out from making financial management decisions in their own homes.
The survey only outlines the findings carried out in Morobe and Madang provinces.
The Bank of PNG will complete the national survey of financial capability to provide baseline understanding of financial capability of the PNG population.
Once this is done, it will then assist BPNG and other government agencies in developing policies and programs to strengthen financial services in the rural PNG, and especially with women.