17 Mar 2014

Solomon Islands invites banks in to service logging industry

12:31 pm on 17 March 2014

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister says his government is addressing some of the difficulties the logging industry is having with commercial banks operating in his country.

Westpac Bank has given notice that it will close all accounts belonging to logging companies at the end of this month.

Two other banks, Bank South Pacific and the ANZ Bank refuse to hold accounts belonging to logging companies because of environmental policies in Australia and New Zealand.

The Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo, says the Solomon Islands government is introducing more sustainable policies around logging.

He says the government also recognises the need to stop the logging earnings being banked offshore.

"We are sorting that out and we are inviting financial institutions to come into the country. One applicant has been granted an interim license and they're working towards putting the capital to be able to provide those services to the forest sector."

The Solomon Islands Prime Minister, Gordon Darcy Lilo