13 Apr 2005

Solomon Islands Central bank looks for ways to deliver rural financial services

12:45 pm on 13 April 2005

The Solomon Islands Central Bank says it is looking for practical solutions on ways to deliver financial services to the rural areas.

The bank's deputy governor, Denton Rarawa, says they've surveyed people in rural areas who have expressed a need for savings accounts, deposit and credit facilities, and loans for small to medium businesses.

The bank is currently holding a conference in Honiara on the issue which is being attended by about 100 people, including representatives from commercial banks, financial institutions, NGOs and civil society.

Mr Rarawa says there may not be a single solution.

"I think we are looking at a mix of vehicles, for one would be the commercial banks setting up branches and agencies but we're also looking at say, the credit unions - how can we strengthen the credit unions so that they can go down to the village level and establish there."

DUR: 18

Mr Rarawa says the conference should provide a way for the government to set a policy direction.