4 Mar 2006

Fiji central bank hasn't received any bid for indigenous bank

9:12 am on 4 March 2006

The foreign organisation which offered to give US$3.5 billion to set up a bank for indigenous Fijians has not filed any application to do so with the Reserve Bank.

A Radio Fiji report says the Reserve Bank has also not received any application from the Viti Land and Resource Owners Association which invited the so-called Office of International Treasury Control to be its partner.

The Bank's deputy governor, Sada Reddy, says both organisations had inquired about the requirements for obtaining a banking licence and were provided with a checklist, but no applications have been received.

Mr Reddy says the requirements are very stringent and include bona fide and independently verifiable background information on the principals making the application.

In the meantime, Fiji police have begun investigating the organisation and its self-styled Chief of Cabinet, a Dr Keith Scott.

The deputy police commissioner, Moses Driver, has confirmed the investigation is now under way because of concerns about potential fraud with criminal intent.