9 May 2016

Fiji's Sayed-Khaiyum hits out at banks over new law

2:36 pm on 9 May 2016
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum Photo: SUPPLIED

Fiji's Finance Minister Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum has hit out at the Association of Banks in Fiji over its criticism of a new law which tightens up credit reporting.

The banks said there was zero consultation on the Fair Reporting of Credit Act and warned it would lead to a rise in interest rates and make it difficult for people to get loans.

In a letter to the association, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum claimed its chairman had a conflict of interest as he is shareholder and director of BSP Life which is a shareholder of Fiji's main credit reporting agency Data Bureau.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said the current regime had created a pool of flawed data and unfair reporting systems preventing needy people from accessing loans, particularly after Cyclone Winston.

He said it is preposterous to threaten a rise in interest rates and he said the Association should support the government in its moves to regulate Fiji's finance industry.

The minister said Data Bureau could continue to operate once it complied with the law.

The act requires credit reporting agencies to obtain a licence and and have the data they hold verified by the Reserve Bank.