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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pacific bank Governors call for donor assistance to deliver Financial Literacy

By Samantha Magick in Sydney

Pacific Island central bank governors and finance ministers told donor partners in Sydney yesterday that while there is a great need for better financial literacy in their countries, they need assistance to deliver it.

Deepening financial capacity in the Pacific Islands is the subject of a conference in Sydney this week.

Bank leaders have heard that teaching financial literacy — or giving people the skills to manage their money wisely — is central to this push as “what is good for individuals and households is generally good for the economy as well.”

Reserve Bank of Australia Assistant Governor Keith Hall says the cost of financial illiteracy is a far lower standard of living, while the benefits are a “more resilient financial system.”

The Director the IMF’s Office for Asia and the Pacific, Akira Ariyoshi says central banks in the Pacific Islands have a key role to play in delivering financial literacy, and that it can contribute to better understanding of the independence of the central bank, and the effectiveness and limits of economic policy.

However Governor of the Central Bank of Samoa, Leasi Papalii Tommy Scanlan says that while Pacific Island central banks understood the need and benefits of financial literacy in their communities, it is a challenge to find the resources to develop such programs, and that they would like the help of donors to do this.

Fiji’s Reserve Bank governor, Savenaca Narube says there should be public-private sector partnerships — for example with commercial banks — in delivering financial literacy programs.

Source: Pacific Magazine

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