Fiji’s central bank enhances support facility

RBF would conduct the survey in partnership with the Fiji Bureau of Statistics (FBoS), the United Nations Capital Development Fund managed by the Pacifi c Financial Inclusion Programme (UNCDF-PFIP) and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI). Picture: FILE

The Reserve Bank of Fiji (RBF) Board has announced further enhancements to its Disaster Rehabilitation and Containment Facility (DRCF) to assist businesses.

This, following its monthly meeting on Thursday, according to a statement from the bank.

It was revealed the changes included an additional funding allocation of $200 million, a limited and tiered guarantee targeting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), streamlined debt recovery processes and the removal of related fees and charges by participating financial institutions for a period of two years.

The RBF stated revisions to the facility followed the announcement made by the Minister for Economy during the National Budget address on July 16 that Government would fully subsidise interest payments for loans disbursed under this facility for the first two years.

It was stated during this grace period, no borrower would be required to make principal and interest repayments on their DRCF loan.

In addition, the lending institutions had agreed to support this initiative by waiving any related fees or charges.

RBF governor and board chairman Ariff Ali said the changes to the facility were aimed at providing relief to many businesses by helping them maintain their operations and, in turn, support the employment of many Fijians during this pandemic.

He added these extraordinary measures further supplemented the Reserve Bank’s policy responses to support access to credit and local business activity.

Mr Ali further clarified that more than one entity or subsidiary within a business group may qualify to access this facility.

Association of Banks in Fiji chairman Rakesh Ram welcomed the announcement.

He stated the loan program would enable new ventures and existing businesses to access funds quickly to meet immediate financial obligations.

Mr Ram encouraged eligible entrepreneurs to approach their lending institutions to take advantage of the offer.

It was stated businesses may access funds under this facility through their respective commercial banks, licensed credit institutions or the Fiji Development Bank.

This would be subject to the criteria of individual institutions to qualify for the loan.

More information on the facility can be obtained from the RBF Domestic Markets Unit email: domesticmarkets@rbf.gov.fj or telephone 3223356.

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