The Reserve Bank has issued its revised policy guideline on fees and charges of licensed credit institutions in Fiji titled 'Banking Supervision Policy Statement No. 8B (Revised 2012): Accountability and Disclosure Guidelines on Interest Rates, Fees and Charges for Licensed Credit Institutions in Fiji.'
The policy guideline imposes several new disclosure requirements on the credit institutions, however the key initiatives are in the standardisation and details on fees, charges and interest rates required to be disclosed, the RBF said in a statement.
Standardisation is aimed at ensuring greater transparency and comparability of fees, charges and interest rates across the different institutions and also help customers make good and informed decisions on what they were buying and how much they would be paying for a product or a service from credit institutions.
The Policy, the RBF says is applicable to Home Finance Co Ltd, Merchant Finance Co Ltd and Credit Corporation (Fiji) Ltd, the three licensed credit institutions in Fiji.
The revised Policy requirements came into effect from1 October 2012, while provisions requiring non system changes, such as updating and printing of revised fees and charges brochures and updating letters of offer, will become effective from 1 January 2013.
Credit institutions have also been given time to implement other long-term changes.
Governor of the Reserve Bank of Fiji, Barry Whiteside said the policy statement was the culmination of three years of work towards ensuring that customers got sufficient information before deciding to take a loan or invest in a time deposit, during the term of the loan or deposit and when it is paid off.
He acknowledged the contributions from various stakeholders including the Finance Companies Association and the Consumer Council of Fiji.
Governor Whiteside urges all customers to make good use of the information provided by banks and credit institutions.
The implementation of the Policy ompletes the first phase of the bank’s work on reforming fees and charges charged by licensed credit institutions in the country.
The second phase, which is in progress, is the review of all current fees and charges of the credit institutions.