Banking initiative for region

Monday May 11, 2015 Written by Release Published in Economy

A Pacific Islands Regional Initiative (PIRI) aimed at increasing financial inclusion in the Pacific Islands is being launched this week.

The project involves Banco Central de Timor-Leste, Bank of Papua New Guinea, Central Bank of Samoa, Central Bank of Solomon Islands, National Reserve Bank of Tonga, Reserve Bank of Fiji and Reserve Bank of Vanuatu. 

The Pacific region has one of the highest ‘unbanked’ rates in the world. An estimated 80 per cent of low income earners in the Pacific do not have any access to financial services, and the region faces many additional obstacles such as low population density, challenging geography and high delivery costs. 

The Pacific Islands Regional Initiative provides a platform for Pacific Island financial regulators to come together and exchange information on key issues relating to financial inclusion, discuss and share the current situation in their countries and create conditions that lead to the financial empowerment of Pacific Islanders.

PIRI grew from the Pacific Islands Working Group (PIWG) which, since its inception in 2009, has covered financial inclusion policy issues ranging from digital financial services, consumer protection and financial education, data and financial integrity, access to broader financial services, micro-insurance and building strategies for financial inclusion. 

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