Tabuya claims bank interest rates still high

Minister for Health and Medical Services Dr Ifereimi Waqainabete and Opposition MP Lynda Tabuya during break outside Parliament yesterday. Picture: JONA KONATACI

FINANCIAL institutions assess an individual’s capacity to repay loans, says Attorney-General and Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum.

He made the comments in Parliament on Tuesday after the Opposition Whip, Lynda Tabuya, asked Mr Sayed-Khaiyum on whether he could assure the Fijian people that attaining loans from banks would be made easier.

Ms Tabuya claimed that borrowing from banks at this time was not easy and interest rates were still high.

In response, Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said interest rates had decreased.

“I am quite happy to supply her a list that is put out by the RBF that has a weighted average cost of interest rates,” he said.

“That actually does demonstrate interest rates in Fiji overall has come down. In respect of standing up here and saying, “Yes, tomorrow I will ensure that everyone can go and borrow money easily”, it will be quite stupid of me to say that because at the end of the day, it is up to the financial institutions to lend.”

He said penalty charges for shifting loans to another bank were not applicable.

“That obviously increases their capacity to borrow and it makes the lending market a lot more attractive.”

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