16 Jun 2005

Fiji's Development Bank silent on dubious loan

10:22 am on 16 June 2005

The state-owned Fiji Development Bank has refused to provide information on a loan it gave to a company set up by the Native Lands Trust Board and locally-born computer millionaire, Ballu Khan.

Labour senator Dr Atu Emberson-Bain had asked in the Upper House how the taxpayer-owned bank could explain an unsecured loan of 2.1 million US dollars to Pacific Connex Limited and whether a bank director had resigned in protest.

But answering the question on behalf of the government, the attorney general, Qoriniasi Bale, said the Development Bank could not provide such information because of bank-client confidentiality clauses.

Mr Bale said on whether a director resigned over the loan, it was up to the person concerned to disclose that.

But the Fiji Times reports that the minister for finance has confirmed receiving director Steven Pickering's resignation.