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Monday, April 16, 2007

Bank South Pacific Clarification

The figures published by Bank South Pacific in the Fiji Times last Saturday, 14 April 2007, was apparently for the entire Bank South Pacific Group (which includes its global operations as well as Fiji).

Therefore, the figures reported are correct i.e. that net profit before tax for 2006 for the whole Bank South Pacific Group was F$62.0 million and F$55.1 million for 2005.

This is a new practice that banks in Fiji now publish their global financial results instead of that of their Fiji operations only.

After the controversy of the high profits recorded by banks in Fiji (refer to ANZ and Westpac performance reported on this blog earlier and in the local newspapers), I have found that those institutions' whose performance was to be published last April for their December 2006 results, have not published them. These include some of the non-bank deposit taking institutions.

The whole intention of the Reserve Bank's policy to require publication of their Fiji results was that it was more appropriate for educating and informing the Fiji public about how their banks and other deposit taking institutions have performed over the most recent financial year with comparative data provided for the year earlier.

Previously banks used to publish their global results. That publication meant very little for Fiji users and readers of financial information. This was changed after passage of the current Banking Act in 1995 and the implementation of a disclosure policy for banks and other deposit-taking institutions which require publication of the financial results for their Fiji operations.

Is the publication of global results going to be a new practice for Fiji? Or is someone trying to hide something particularly after the controversy of banks benefiting from Reserve Bank's high interest rates policy?

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