March 19, 2009

State, Fiji banks to battle crisis

State, banks to battle crisis - 3/19/2009

The recent announcement by the Association of Banks to work with the Interim Government in finding ways to counter the economic crisis has been welcomed by the business community.
Businessman Mick Beddoes yesterday said the announcement that banks would guide government to establish measures to help Fiji overcome the global financial crisis is good news.
And he has called on the banks to announce what measures it would be taking to help people with their mortgage repayments and other commitments so that Fiji could avoid the impact of the financial crisis. Mr Beddoes suggested that the first step taken by the banks should be to reduce by up to 50per cent housing and other loan repayments for the next 12 months before reviewing things and adding back any arrears existing to the balance owed.
“This will bring immediate relief to the people and allow them to make adjustments to their budgets,” he said. “Although many people have already taken their deposits out of the banks in fear of losing their money, government can encourage people to start re-depositing their funds.
“Thereby assisting banks in improving the liquidity problem we face by issuing a government guarantee for every person’s savings similar to measure taken in other countries.” He said people are worried but this could be reduced significantly if banks and the government announce measures that would help assure them that they won’t lose their homes. “This will also help them to maintain reasonable cash flow to better manage the finances and survive through these difficult times,” Mr Beddoes added.

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