Reserve Bank of Fiji hails launch of BRED Bank
Addressing at the launch of BRED Bank, the Deputy Chairman of Reserve Bank of Fiji Mr Darryl Constantin said he wish to thank Satish for the kind invitation to officiate at this launch of BRED Bank Fiji.
He sdaid this is another milestone in the history of our financial system. Today marks the entry of a new bank and, perhaps more significantly, not since Bank of Hawaii entered our financial system in 1993 have we had a bank start from scratch and be challenged to build its operations from the ground up.
He said I would like to make some general comments about banking and our licensing framework. Banking & Licensing Entry into our banking system is quite deregulated. However, I must say that while anyone can apply to establish a bank in Fiji, they must meet our fairly comprehensive licensing requirements, which play an integral role in ensuring we are dealing with reputable, tried and proven players.
Historically, we have had banks withdraw from the country for various reasons. Some contend that this indicates that the country is sufficiently banked. The Reserve Bank of Fiji, however, does not presently have a policy on limiting the number of players in the industry. We do like to ensure that those institutions that do come in are strong and have the appropriate backing to take them forward.
May I add that the decision to commence full banking operations in a new jurisdiction is not a spur of the moment thing and is certainly not taken lightly. Banking is a relatively difficult and complex business to establish. Set up and operating costs are extremely high. Just look around you and take a guess at how much has been spent on this fit-out.
A new institution trying to position itself in an already competitive market must be prepared to do more to secure a share of that market. There are strenuous compliance requirements set by the regulators that must first be met before the business can even think of taking in the first deposit, or giving out the first loan.