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Thursday, November 08, 2007

New Financial Services Commission to be set up

The Interim Cabinet has approved the establishment of a new Financial Services Commission.

The Commission will regulate the level of fees and charges imposed by financial institutions in Fiji.

The idea of a Financial Services Commission arose out of the 1998 Financial System Inquiry after considering complaints by customers on the 'exorbitant' fees, charges and interest rates levied by financial institutions in Fiji.

The Interim Minister for Finance has said that there is a lack of competition in the financial sector in Fiji which has resulted in high bank profits, high user charges, excessive margins and poor services standards.

The Commission is to work together with other financial services regulators in Fiji which include the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the Capital Markets Development Authority.

Yesterday, bankers have said that there was no need for another regulator as they felt that the Reserve Bank of Fiji is adequately supervising the area of bank fees and charges.

Perhaps a comprehensive customer survey of banking and other financial services customers would best reveal the demand for a financial services commission.

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