1 Aug 2007

Fiji banks witness squeeze in economy

10:18 am on 1 August 2007

Fiji's commercial banks are witnessing the squeeze in the country's economy with customers asking to defer interest payments or restructure their loans.

The general manager of the ANZ Banking Group, Robert Bell, has told the Fiji Times most of the requests have come from business customers, not individuals.

Mr Bell says a number of tourism operators are struggling and the bank has seen a gradual increase in requests from them to restructure their loans.

A spokesman for the Westpac Bank, Ashleigh Matheson, says they have taken a sympathetic approach to requests to convert loans to interest only while cash flows are depressed.

Both banks have reported an excess of cash in the system and have lowered interest rates from today to make it easier to borrow.