Central bank defends operations of Pan Oceanic Bank
By JOHN AATAI
CUSTOMERS of Pan Oceanic Bank (POB) are advised to stay calm amidst claims the bank may be forced to close down soon.
The Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) says the claims, which were made in an email that has been widely circulated, were fabricated and false.
And CBSI strongly advised the public to stop and refrain from “spreading false information about the operations of POB”.
The anonymous email had claimed POB has a growing unpaid loan portfolio and that depositors are withdrawing and closing their accounts.
CBSI said it is fully aware of the “distribution of this erroneous piece of information”.
It said the information was conveyed as a news article that has the potential to cause malicious damage and create unnecessary confusion.
“Central Bank is currently monitoring the impact of such a misleading article and notes that such information are only designed to cause further misunderstanding, panic and lowering of public confidence over the country’s financial system,” CBSI said.
It added this is the second time such information received and shared, is coming from an anonymous source with the intent to target specifically POB, its operations, management and staff, including questioning Central Bank’s role and capacity as the nation’s regulatory authority.
“CBSI reiterated its appeal to the public to immediately refrain from participating in such smear campaigns and simply ignore these types of information.
“CBSI continues to encourage the public to carry on banking with POB as its operations complies with all prudential requirements by law, and is monitored closely through due diligence processes,” the CBSI statement said.
Meanwhile, a spokesman from POB said the email was intended to tarnish the image of the bank and get its customers to pull out their savings.
The spokesman said they have decided to let CBSI, being the banking authority, officially respond to the unfounded claims in the email.
He added POB is still carrying out its banking operations as normal.
POB is one of the four commercial banks currently operating in the country.
It opened its doors here in 2014.
It is the only commercial bank here that facilitates banking transactions of logging companies in the country.