A study conducted by the National Financial Inclusion Unit of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands, CBSI, has found that Solomon Islands has a very low financial competency rate.
Called the Financial Competence Study and conducted in 2012, it gathers data from low income earners in the rural communities both in the provinces and rural Honiara.
Compiled data showed that Solomon Islands has a very low financial competence rate compared to neighbouring countries like Fiji and Samoa where the same study was also carried out.
CBSI’s Financial Inclusion Unit Manager, Caroline Kanoko confirmed this in a recent media conference to members of the local media.
“The study results have shown that for us in the Solomon Islands we have very low, lower than our other neighbouring countries like Fiji and Samoa where the same was also carried out. This means that in terms of financial literacy our lower sector of the community do not really understand all these financial terms, financial services, even the products that the banks are trying to promote, like these technology products.”
Meanwhile, she said this low financial competence provides a high chance of abuse for people, now that the banks are introducing branchless banking services in the country.
“Because of that there is high chance of abuse, now that the banks are using the pin number as a security. Now these people do not really understand the importance of their pin number so let’s say maybe somebody from Gold Ridge who may have 50-thousand dollars in his account get anyone he met on the street and told him to get his money for him from an Automatic Teller Machine, ATM, without knowing that he is actually giving his right to that person to access his money account.”
Mrs Kanoko said despite being conducted only on one particular sector of the country, results would be different once a nationwide is conducted.