Speech by Mr Loi Martin Bakani, CMG Governor, Bank of Papua New Guinea Launch of Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Speech by

Mr Loi Martin Bakani, CMG

Governor, Bank of Papua New Guinea



Good afternoon.

Today’s official launch of the Bank of Papua New Guinea’s Strategic Plan for 2016 to 2020 marks the Bank’s coming of age.

We have come a long way since the introduction of the first Strategic Plan back in 2005. Before that initial Plan was developed and implemented, we had the Central Banking Act 2000 to tell us what our job was – to meet the Bank’s four statutory objectives. But we didn’t have any clear program of improvement or set of priorities to help the Bank achieve those objectives in a logical and streamlined manner.

In fact, many of you will recall the Bank did not have mission, vision or values statements until those vital elements were developed as part of the first Strategic Planning process. Certainly, their introduction has led to a fundamental shift within the Bank to create a culture of continuous improvement. These statements give us strong guide to help us shape the Bank’s future and enable us to make good judgements about our work in meeting our responsibilities. And they form the foundations of our strategic plans.

Fast forward to the implementation of the Strategic Plan 2012-2015. Over the past few years we have taken a number of significant strides towards achieving our vision. The implementation of the National Payments System is a great example of how a major initiative marches forward across several years to meet strategic milestones.

The seeds of the NPS were sown in 2012 with the recognition that PNG needed to embrace electronic banking. This is an example of where a strategic initiative helps us achieve more than one key objective. Firstly the National Payments Systems project leads to meeting one of the Bank’s cornerstone mandates – in this case promoting an efficient national and international payments system. At the same time it is working to achieve our vision – making a distinct and valuable contribution to the economic well-being of Papua New Guinea. Plus in so doing it moves us towards meeting the mandate of promoting macro-economic growth in Papua New Guinea.

The NPS is a very good illustration of how a strategic initiative develops to implementation. KATS, the Kina Automatic Transfer System part of the NPS, was born in 2012, with the consultative planning phase – establishment of a working group with members comprised of BPNG staffers, commercial bank representatives and key Government department, system software functionality agreed, the drafting of the legislation to give legal force to the initiative.

In 2013 we celebrated a major milestone – the KATS roll out. With this phase under our belt, BPNG and commercial banks could implement electronic inter-bank funds transfer and facilitate Real Time Gross Settlement.

2014 saw the achievement of the next phase of the NPS strategic project – enhancing the Banking Services System and introducing cheque truncation which has dramatically improved cheque clearing, giving customers quicker access to their cleared funds.

Through 2015 we continued our focus on encouraging electronic banking, a key driver for the NPS strategic initiative, by launching Direct Credits. Customers are now able to send a payment instruction to their commercial bank for payment to a payee. That bank then credits the payee’s bank account and enables the payee to access cleared funds usually that same day.

With this capability, BPNG’s payments processing is in the same league as other developed countries.

Of course there is more improvement and innovation to come. The new Strategic Plan will lead us towards National Payments System enhancements, including a national card/mobile switch, improved remittance facilities and a number of other initiatives.

In a similar vein we have worked on a host of other strategic initiatives over the past few years, such as the various Data Warehouse developments and organisational budgeting, in line with the 2012-2015 Strategic Plan. Again, some of these programs and projects will continue into the Strategic Plan 2016-2020. Harnessing suitable best-in-class technology remains a key factor in achieving the strategic objectives.

Today, thanks to the success of previous Strategic Plans, the Bank’s structure is a better reflection of our position as a contemporary central bank. Here is the evidence:

  • Our governance practices are moving towards world’s best practice. We are continuing to keep a close eye on our management structure, management systems and Bank infrastructure. You will see these aspects of our organisation under the microscope as part of the 2016-2020 SP.
  • In line with ‘for the advantage of the people of Papua New Guinea’ BPNG has led the way towards financial inclusion, fostering a culture where all Papua New Guineans can tap into the widening opportunities for access to banking and financial services, as well as financial education. Continuing our theme of electronic innovation, we have encouraged innovations like mobile banking. And we have expanded microfinance opportunities and sponsored nation-wide financial inclusion expos.
  • Plus, the Bank of Papua New Guinea is now a respected member of the central bank community. The Bank’s leadership position in the PNG financial sector has also extended to the global stage. Our strategic planning takes into account our position in the Asia-Pacific region. We actively support other central banks in the region, through our strong involvement in the peak body SEACEN and in supplying our well-qualified staff to help with supervision projects in other countries as they do in ours.

We can rightly be proud of our progress.

But we’re certainly not going to rest on our laurels. As I said, this new Strategic Plan we are launching today represents a coming of age, a maturing of our planning process. Hand in hand with that maturity comes our responsibility to keep up the momentum of improvement.

This responsibility rests on all of us. The Strategic Plan 2016-2020 has been developed so we can enhance the achievements to date and help us continue our focus on achieving the Bank’s mandated goals and objectives. It’s a work-in-progress, building on the foundations from the previous Strategic Plan, at the same time looking towards meeting and solving new challenges.

We need to bring a stronger focus to making our key responsibilities work. For example, as the world economy changes ever faster and global money supply and demand influences our economy, we need to make sure our monetary policy and transmissions are effective.

And then there are challenges handed to us, such as the vital role the Bank will have with the establishment and development of the Sovereign Wealth Fund and activating PNG to take a strong stance in line with the rest of the world against money laundering and terrorism financing. The role of the Bank of Papua New Guinea will continue to grow, which is a strong reason we have a Strategic Plan to keep us firmly on track.

As you’ll now appreciate, the Strategic Plan 2016-2020 blends continuity with change.

Right from the start of the strategic planning process we actively sought input from people all across the Bank, from Board level to each functional group. We also took into account feedback from external reports, such as those provided by the Centre of Excellence for Financial Inclusion and from evaluation reports for FSSR and NPS.

A formal workshop, in which many of you participated, established the framework and priorities of the Strategic Plan. Some of you have had a key role in developing the Plan, to the point where it has stood up to scrutiny from an independent consultant.

Congratulations, Everyone, on all the fine work that has gone into the development of this Strategic Plan. Such an effective consultation process is a very sound foundation for the success of the Plan over the coming five years. It’s an exciting time to be with the Bank of Papua New Guinea!

Right now the spotlight is shining brightly on the newly-minted Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

As Governor of the Bank I am looking forward to acknowledging steady progress through the schedule of strategic innovations and improvements the Plan sets out.

And, again as Governor of the Bank, I am also looking forward to the ongoing commitment of the bank staff who keep our mission-critical business-as-usual activities running smoothly.

On that note, balancing our commitment to business-as-usual activities with strategic improvement, I am delighted to announce the official launch of the Strategic Plan 2016-2020.

Congratulation BPNG Board & Management.

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