12 May 2003

Threats lead to the closure of three banks in Solomon Islands

6:54 am on 12 May 2003

The three commercial banks in Solomon Islands, plus the Central Bank, will not open this morning in protest at threats made against the management and family of the ANZ bank in Honiara

The threats have been made by those connected to the so-called Family Charity Trust Fund, which the banks have warned is pyramid money making scheme.

Yesterday morning, a specially chartered plane was brought into the Solomon to fly senior figures from the ANZ bank back to Australia.

Over the last week, a group calling itself the Pressure Committee has been beseiging the Central Bank in Honiara following the frustration of its members to get a return on their investment.

The Chairman of the National Bank in Solomon Islands, John Sullivan, says his bank will keep all its branches closed until the directors decide otherwise.

He said an improvement in the law and order situation and the safety of staff and property were obvious considerations