THE National Financial Inclusion Taskforce has reached 93 per cent of the targeted 150,000 unbanked Fijians, says Reserve Bank of Fiji governor Barry Whiteside.
He said the taskforce established after a 2009 meeting of stakeholders had hoped to reach its target by the year 2014.
This figure, he said, was estimated as representing roughly half of the underserved population.
"I am happy to say that we have now reached 93 per cent of the initial target," Mr Whiteside said.
Meanwhile, according to taskforce head Robin Yarrow, the Pacific was one of the most neglected regions in the world in terms of banking services.
He said in some Pacific island countries, 70 to 80 per cent of the population did not have access to financial services.
"Worldwide, about one third of the population does not have access to financial services and in the Pacific region, it is much higher than that," Mr Yarrow said.
He said in response, authority treated the issue as "high priority" with microfinance week held every two years in a different country in the region.
As hosts this year, the forum gives a chance for Fiji to present its progress on financial inclusion, he added.
"All around the world, developing countries are working to include more of their people in the financial services stream."
Mr Yarrow said the country had a national centre that catered for small and medium-sized enterprises.
"We have also had few other organisations, mainly church based, set up as well as trying to meet the demand for small loans.
"But we know that demand is far from being met and also we are conscious that this sector can provide a lot of contribution to the national economy."