Central banks commit to economic prosperity and wellbeing in South Pacific

The governors consider developing a regional electronic Know Your Customer facility

Central banks commit to economic prosperity and wellbeing in South Pacific

South Pacific central bank governors have reconfirmed their commitment to supporting the region’s access to cost effective remittances, retention of bank services, and improving financial inclusion at their June 20 meeting.

Ariff Ali, of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, said it was crucial to maintain access to financial services and to keep financial corridors open in order to support Pacific Island countries’ economic prosperity and its people’s wellbeing.

“Remittances are a key source of income for Pacific Island countries and for many families in our communities,” Ali said. “Cost effective remittances and the retention of banking services are vital to the region’s economic resilience, and improve our ability to manage challenges such as climate change, rising costs, and the economic impacts of COVID-19.”

The governors reviewed work done by central banks and international agencies on the challenges and opportunities for remittances, as well as the potential to develop a regional electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) facility for the South Pacific region.

Countries developing strategies for delivering their own eKYC capability –as part of their respective national digitalisation, digital identity, and AML/CFT compliance work programs – will be prioritised. The central banks may also consider the development of a regional eKYC facility as a possible extension of the national eKYC capabilities in the future.

The group of nine central banks will continue to support each other on development of eKYC capabilities, and other opportunities to improve the region’s access to financial services and cost effective remittances.

The governors also thanked the Pacific Island country government agencies that have made contributions to date, as well as the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the UN Capital Development Fund, Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs.

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