THE Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) continues to lend money to borrowers regardless of the negative impacts of COVID-19 on the local economy since the bank’s inception in June this year.
The Minister of Finance and Treasury, Harry Kuma announced this positive development in Parliament yesterday in response to a question from Member of Parliament for South Malaita Rick Houenipwela.
Minister Kuma said the bank has been doing very well in its operation so far since its inception, regardless of the onslaught of COVID-19 with many other challenges that affected the overall banking sector in the country.
According to Mr. Kuma, DBSI ventured and offered various lending products to different sectors of the economy including; Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, Investment, Livelihood, Livestock, Retail, Land & Sea Transport, and Wholesale.
The DBSI Loan portfolio on 27 November 2020, reached SBD51,555,595.00, an increase of approximately $2.5 million from 31 October update, as the bank continued to slowly disburse new loans.
Under the total lending portfolio by sector, Livelihood products recorded the highest at $34,313,433 (this represented 67 percent of the total portfolio), followed by the Investment sector at $11,047,407 (represented by 21 percent of the total loan portfolio).
Other lesser sectors included – Retails at $1,644,579 (3.2 percent of the Bank Loan portfolio), Fishing at $1,552,657 (3 percent of the Loan portfolio), Livestock, Land Transport, and Sea Transport all recorded at around $714, 368 (1.4 percent of the total portfolio), Agriculture at $632,644 (1.2 percent of the loan portfolio), and the rest of the portfolio distribution registered by forestry, and Wholesale at $217,630 and $9,801 respectively.
In terms of the overall loan portfolio distribution by our provinces, Malaita recorded the highest at $21,980,623, Guadalcanal $8,555,467, Western $5,725,223, Isabel $3,900,670, Makira $3,031,582, Temotu $2,840,878, Choiseul $2,352,853, Central $2,339,966 million, Renbel $734,629, and others is register at $92,402.
In response to other supplementary questions raised in Parliament, Minister Kuma also reiterated that the Board and Management of the Bank are committed to their specific roles and duties in order to avoid the experiences on the operation of the previous DBSI.
Minister Kuma also highlighted that the new legislative structure of the bank, which include an oversight role by the Central Bank, gives the added benefit of complying with good banking practices.