Banking Services in Fiji
The banking industry in Fiji, and indeed the world over, has been the focus of increasing consumer concerns in recent years. This focus has been brought about not only because of the global financial crisis but also as a result of consumers and consumer advocates no longer taking bank fees, charges and processes for granted.
The banking sector in Fiji is characterized by a general lack of competition which has adverse consequences for the convenience and choice for consumers and for high costs of banking services. Since the banking industry is central to the functioning of the consumer sector, it is essential that policy makers, regulators, bankers, researchers and consumer groups remain fully engaged in monitoring developments in the consumer finance market and continually seek to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the financial services industry, including how well it serves lower income and underserved consumers.
In view of this, the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF) decided in early 2010 to commission an independent study of consumer protection aspects of banking services in Fiji. This Report is the result of that study and examines the following aspects of banking services in Fiji:
- Types of products and services offered in the market and relevant fees and charges set down by the banks including savings and transfer
- Consumers’ access to credit
- Cost of accessing credit
- Access to (good) quality and independent financial advice
- Client assessment practices for granting credit
- Consumers’ personal information and its protection
- Overview of good and bad industry practices by the service providers.