The Chairman of the Bank South Pacific Group (B.S.P.), Sir Kostas Constantinou, is optimistic about the future of the banking sector – especially the growth of their business in Samoa and the Pacific.
In fact, he has made a promise to the people of Samoa to improve their services because they want to be around for many years to come.
“We value the business in Samoa,” he told the Sunday Samoan. “The people and staff, we are so proud of them.”
Sir Kostas was in the country with a host of senior B.S.P. officials for their Annual Board meeting, which ended with on Friday night.
Speaking to the Sunday Samoan, the Chairman said he is happy with the growth of their business in Samoa and promises to improve their services.
“The C.E.O., myself and the Board we travel around the Pacific calling on nations that we invested in and we want to fly the flag and show our commitment and the people of Samoa that we are not going anywhere,” he said.
“We are the people’s bank and that is why we are here so our annual meetings that we had in the morning there are no changes in the board everything is still the same."
“Our board are doing very well, our management is excellent, we employ 4,200 people in our group, we employ 3,000 people in PNG and the rest are in the islands, Cook Islands, Samoa, Vanuatu and right throughout PNG.”
Sir Kostas said their business in Samoa is a growing market and they take their commitment to the people very seriously.
“We value the business in Samoa, people and staff and we are so proud of them,” said the Chairman.
“We have increased our staff, we are working very hard to secure companies. The difference with B.S.P. and most international banks is that we make time to come to Samoa, Tonga, Vanuatu and other places."
“We also went to the village together last week and met with one of our partners, this is the difference between B.S.P. and other international banks is that we are connecting with people.
“We are very aggressive and our main aim is people and service and this is one of our mottos and as you can see we enjoy working with the people."
“And it’s amazing that we have the support of the Prime Minister of Samoa."
“In any society if people don’t make commitments and they tell stories, then that’s wrong. I move in the Pacific make my commitments and I do not make false promises. If I want to do something, I think hard before I make a decision so that’s how I do it.
“So we are very committed to the Pacific and especially the people of Samoa and we will be here for 100 and 1,000 of years.”
He was also asked about recent incidents where the bank’s A.T.M machines were schemed first by a couple of Chinese and then a man from Europe.
“What I can say is that we’ve improved our system, we’ve tightened them up and we are introducing a new card system with a chip on it so the scammers will not be able to access our machines,” he said.
“We don’t sit on the problem, we fix it and hopefully very soon the people will be able to get money using that new card system."
“The people should not be worried anymore because we are working on fixing the problem and we are getting there soon.”
Asked why people are targeting B.S.P. when there are a lot of other international banks, Sir Kostas said they need to improve their technology.
“They know they can easily access the system that runs the A.T.M machines hence why there have been two incidents here in Samoa but in other banks they have better technologies so we are now improving our technologies,” said Sir Kostas.
“In life we all learn, if something goes wrong we fix it but if something goes wrong and we don’t fix it then there’s something wrong so that’s what we did. We learned and moved very quickly to ensure that our systems are secured.”