About the Fiji Development Bank
The Fiji Development Bank (FDB) provides financing that contributes to the development of the Fijian economy leading to the enhancement of the quality of life for all Fijians.
The Bank was established under the Fiji Development Bank Act (Cap 214) on 1 July 1967, sixteen years after development banking started in Fiji with the Agricultural and Industrial Loans Board.
It is an autonomous statutory body, the operations of which are controlled by a Board of Directors appointed, by the Minister for Economy.
The award-winning Bank is also the first development bank in the South Pacific to be accredited to the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the world’s largest climate fund, as a Direct (National) Access Entity.
The Bank has been in existence for more than 50 years now and remains Fiji’s only national development financial institution to this date. It has contributed significantly to the success story of the Fijian economy across generations.
Development Financial Institution (DFI) Role
FDB’s mandate is unique. It clearly distinguishes it from commercial financial institutions for the following broad reasons.
Strong Development Mandate
The Bank is committed to its mission of delivering on objectives that support the economic development of Fiji, and in particular in the sustainable development of the agriculture; manufacturing; wholesale and retail; professional and business services; building and construction; sustainable mining and quarrying; real estate (development); tourism; transportation, communication technology, storage; and the renewable energy sectors.
Its core business is initiating and delivering on financial solutions.
Unlike commercial banks, FDB’s strong development mandate is balanced with generating financial returns that are necessary in ensuring the Bank is able to remain commercially viable. The Bank also aims to be financially sustainable in the long term to allow it to deliver consistently on its development mandate.
This focus on overall financial sustainability rather than profitability allows FDB to fund areas that are riskier, but emerging, innovative and technologically advanced. Such lending involves some degree of risk that commercial lenders may not be willing to take on.
Targeting Development Impact Finance
As a DFI, the Bank is in a position to finance directly those sectors of the economy that contribute towards achieving the national development goals, National Budget initiatives and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
It further adds value by targeting strategic sectors of the economy. This includes supporting those customers that are in need of access to finance as well as those projects that have the highest multiplier effect, both economically and socially.
Local communities and vulnerable groups, including women, youths, cooperatives and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are unlikely to be supported by traditional financial institutions in their initial development.
FDB targets such customers and businesses and helps improve them by providing access to finance and invests in improving their skill sets through training and financial literacy programs. These help mitigate risks involved in sustaining businesses and ensures consistent loan conduct with the Bank.
Fills the Credit Supply Gap
FDB contributes towards building a robust financial sector in Fiji by stepping in to fill gaps in credit supply, allowing it to lend to businesses and projects that cannot normally access finance from commercial banks. FDB manages and mitigates risks of lending to such businesses and projects.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) in its 2019 publication Finding Balance Study confirmed this ‘additionality’ provided by development banks.
Supports Economic Stability
The Bank is also an instrument in promoting economic stability by playing a counter cyclical role during financial and economic downturns when the commercial financial sector may be in distress, by maintaining supply of financing.
Social and Environmental Safeguards
As a DFI, the Bank has the responsibility of improving standards by incorporating social and environmental safeguards in its operations and of those it finances. This is not only critical in terms of maximizing the development impact of activities and minimizing negative impacts, but helps improve investments and promotes long term sustainable project outcomes.
Apart from just supporting the national development agenda, this also supports delivery on the targets of the SDGs.
FDB has taken a strong stance on incorporating social and environmental safeguards in its lending. Compliance towards social, labour, gender and environmental laws and policies are embedded in the Bank’s lending manual.
The Bank also carries out its due diligence in ensuring that its customers uphold financial transparency as regulated.
The Bank is also one of the first local financial institutions to develop a Gender Equity and Social Inclusion Policy (GESI).
Apart from GESI, to effect the GCF conditional accreditation, the Bank rolled out a revised Procurement Policy and also revised its Complaints Management Framework, Information Disclosure Policy, Insider Trading & Countering the Financing of Terrorism Policy and Anti-Money Laundering Policy.
The role of the Bank as mandated under the FDB Act is to:
“facilitate and stimulate the promotion and development of natural resources, transportation and other industries and enterprises in Fiji and in the discharge of these functions, the Bank shall give special consideration and priority to the economic development of the rural and agricultural sectors of the economy of Fiji”.
OUR TARGET SECTORS
In carrying out its business the Bank will continue to provide capital and other resources for investment in the following sectors which are consistent with the objective of maintaining a reasonable diversification in its investments among all sectors of the economy:
- Agriculture including forestry and fishing;
- Mining and Quarrying;
- Transport, Communications and Storage;
- Wholesale, Retail, Hotels and Restaurants;
- Professional and Business Services;
- Building and Construction;
- Private Individuals;
- Real Estate.
For internal reporting purposes, the above sectors are further classified as focused and non-focused sectors, where the non-focused sectors are to be pegged at $350 million following the 2008 Government directive.
Read more about FDB’s accreditation: Green Banking