SUNBIZ

Need To Pull People Into Mainstream Financial Services Sector Highlighted By Attorney-General

Government has stressed the need to have a financial services sector where people are themselves drawn into the mainstream financial services sector. This is as opposed to going to third
08 Dec 2015 09:32
Need To Pull People Into Mainstream Financial Services Sector Highlighted By Attorney-General

Government has stressed the need to have a financial services sector where people are themselves drawn into the mainstream financial services sector.

This is as opposed to going to third parties or money lenders for loans or to get credit which in fact are outside the scope of the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Attorney-General and Minister for Finance, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, highlighted this during the Consumers Rights to Redress in Financial Services Workshop yesterday in Suva.

The workshop was organised by the Consumer Council of Fiji to discuss the developments that have taken place in terms of protecting the rights of consumer in financial services.

In order to draw people into the mainstream sector, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said one of the things that needs to be done is making housing affordable and readily available.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum revealed some informal discussions have taken place with the Reserve Bank of Fiji.

Government believes in order to leapfrog home ownership in Fiji and increase that, banks need to rethink through the RBF as to the level of interest rates that should be given.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said: “I know in some countries, the central banks make it mandatory that a particular percentage of the portfolio of the banks needs to have fairly attractive housing interest rates.

“This is to be able to increase home ownership. In Fiji it is very critical because the lack of home ownership means that generally a lot of Fijians do not have access to good collateral.

“It means they are more dependent on going to the money lenders, financial services that are outside the scope of RBF.”

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum stressed lack of home ownership means people are involved in a cycle of money lenders.

“In order to stop this cycle, we need to have a financial services sector where we draw people into the mainstream financial services sector,” he said.

 

Changing attitude

In terms of consumer redress, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said it all boils down to educating the members of the public.

He said it was important for the financial services sector, in particular the staff, to have an attitude that not all consumers know everything.

“There is sometimes I think is an assumption by financial services staff, and it is not deliberate, that the consumer knows the document and understands the circumstances,” he said.

“We always have to start from the premise that people do not understand so we need to be able to explain to them and when they do ask questions, we are willing to answer these questions.”

www: rachnal@fijisun.com.fj

Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: