1 Jun 2005

Solomons Central Bank to push microfinance for rural areas

3:48 pm on 1 June 2005

The Central Bank of Solomon Islands is finalising a report to revitalise financial services in rural areas.

The report's 30 recommendations came out of a national conference in April, which brought together various stakeholders.

The bank's governor, Rick Hou, says one recommendation is that the Central Bank establish a microfinance section.

But Mr Hou says while there is a need to service rural communities the Central Bank's core function is to maintain economic stability.

"For us to pursue this objection to rural banking, knowing that rural banking in the Solomon's is not cheap, that's something finance institutions here will have to think very carefully about is that it just means they will have to incur more costs."

Rick Hou says after finalising the report, they will notify other institutes, such as the government, other financial institutions, NGO's and the donor community, about the recommendations.