Pacific Corporate Governance Institute focus on banks

SUVA, 08 OCTOBER 2018 (IFC) – Board directors and senior executives have signed up for the latest workshops of the Pacific Corporate Governance Institute (PCGI) to be held this week with a focus on the importance of governance in banks.

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, with the support of Australia, set up the institute last November, with the endorsement of the Reserve Bank of Fiji and working in partnership with the South Pacific Stock Exchange.

It’s now operating as an independent non-profit organization, with a clear mandate to promote principles of good corporate governance to companies in Fiji and operate as a center of excellence for corporate governance in the broader Pacific region.

As part of its learning series, the first of the workshops this week will focus on helping companies develop a practical approach for implementing sound corporate governance practices. The second workshop is specifically tailored for executives and board members from financial institutions with a focus on risk governance.

“Research continues to show that effective risk governance goes beyond “check the box” exercises to meet regulators’ requirements,” said Reserve Bank Governor and PCGI board member Ariff Ali.

“One of the clear lessons from the global financial crisis was that hard-earned gains can be easily eroded in the absence of certain aspects of good governance principles and management practices.”

“Within the emerging markets such as Fiji, it is important to incorporate lessons learned in the developed markets. Research continues to show that a weak risk culture and poor risk governance can contribute heavily to financial industry failures.”

“Globally we’ve seen signs that financial institutions are increasing their risk appetite as they search for better and safer returns,” said IFC’s Resident Representative for Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Kiribati, Deva De Silva.

“So, it is important for boards and senior management to put more emphasis on building the right risk governance as they set the tone at the top.”

The two training workshops, which began today in Suva, attracted board directors and senior executives from the private sector as well as banks.

IFC’s Corporate Governance Programme in the Pacific is implemented in partnership with the Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The program aims to help Pacific companies adopt effective governance standards and practices by raising market awareness, building the capacity of regulators and local partners, and providing firm-level advisory services.

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