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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Fiji Development Bank to concentrate on its developmental function

Fiji Development Bank has been asked by the Minister for Finance to focus on its initial developmental function and that is to concentrate on lending in the agricultural and small business sectors.

In recent years, the Fiji Development Bank has boosted its commercial lending area and is somehow a direct competitor to banks.

While it still does offer lending in the agriculture and small business sectors, lending in these areas may have been crowded out in the development bank's bid to increase its commercial loan portfolio.

One of the reasons that the development bank has gone into commercial lending was to contain the rise in losses from its agriculture lending portfolio.

On the whole, a good review of the function of each financial intermediary would be necessary to ensure that they are all contributing to development in Fiji. Over the years, as new entities has sprung up, a dilution of the distinct role of each entity may have resulted.

It would be good therefore that Government does a review of the entire financial sector to ascertain and clarify what role each intermediary or sub-sector of that sector should play.

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