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Fast money schemes as they are illegal and fraudulent.
The CBOB has again warned the public to be cautious and avoid doing business with fast money schemes as they are illegal and fraudulent. Governor CBOB in a statement said people who placed their money with promoters or agents of these money schemes risk losing their hard earned cash.
“The bank is aware of certain individual(s), agents or groups who ask innocent individuals and companies to pay cash with a hefty promise of 100-2000% return on investment.“They also claim that a huge sum of money (often in billions/trillions) is held by the CBOB and is awaiting clearance for immediate payment,” Mr CBOB said.

He said similar scams had also been reportedly operating in many other parts of BVI.
CBOB said that the bank was also aware of recent scams using mobile phone text messages, fraudulent documents with the signature of the Governor of the Bank, names of the Prime Minister, government ministers and politicians, winning of lotteries and prizes, upfront fees for facilitating access to funds held in offshore accounts and other fraudulent means.
“Promoters of these scams always request for cash fees to be paid up front. Do not be fooled into paying up front fees. These are all different types of scams and are illegal.
“Be warned that the CBOB does not deal with financial transactions for any individuals or private groups.”
He also warned that the bank only deals with the Government’s transactions and therefore warned  the public to be careful and avoid giving money to individuals and groups that promise to pay high returns.
“If you have given your money to these money schemers, you should report those individual(s) to the police to prosecute them, or demand your hard earned money back from them.

“If it is a person living overseas do not send money to their nominated account,” CBOB warned.
He encouraged the public to use the licensed financial institutions and not to place their money with illegal fast money schemes and scams.

Central bank will withdraw all paper banknotes in circulation
PORT MORESBY, --- All paper banknotes in circulation in the country will be withdrawn by the CBOB by June 2013, after which they will not be accepted as legal tender.
The bank has been announcing to the public that paper banknotes denominations K2, K5, K10, K20, K50 and K100 as well as the K2 coin will be removed from circulation.

In their place will be the polymer or plastic notes in the same denominations. Polymer notes in circulation will continue.
Governor CBOB said in a public statement carried yesterday that the public can keep any of the notes as memorabilia but warned that they would be worthless after the deadline passes.
“The public is advised to return all paper banknotes and the K2 coins to any of the commercial bank branches or directly to the CBOB before June 30th 2013 for payment on face value,” CBOB said.
“The CBOB will not accept any of the paper banknotes and K2 coin after June 30, 2013.
“Members of the public who wish to keep the demonetized currencies for memorabilia purposes may do so but the Bank will bear no responsibilities on its intent.”

Technical Congress on 6th November, 2014 Salutations
The Chairman of the Oceania Confederation of Credit Union Leagues,
The President of the BVI Savings and Credit Union League,
Members of the Board of the Oceania Confederation of Credit Union Leagues,
My fellow Governor, Central Bank of Bougainville
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

A very good afternoon to you all!

Introductory Remarks
At the outset I thank the organizers for inviting me to deliver this closing address to your Congress. I am truly honored.

I guess after four days of meetings, workshops and intense technical deliberations you must all be more than ready to let your hair down and just relax! Please allow me a little more of your time.

I note from the programme, that you have had an opportunity to delve into some very pertinent and relevant topics. This capacity building forum affirms the important relationship between appropriately resourcing your people and the quality of governance standards. I congratulate the organizers for combining an excellent agenda with distinguished and knowledgeable speakers and I am sure you have much to take away.

While I understand it has been a long week and I am standing between the Graduation and the exciting cultural event, I would like to take just a little of your time to make a few remarks as you chart the way forward for development, and growth.

Reassurance of the Importance of Credit Unions
Just like Prime Minister Bainimarama stated when he opened this Technical Congress, I echo his sentiments on the critical role that credit unions play.

As intermediaries you serve a broad base of members from all walks of life and income levels. The credit union movement continues to be a catalyst for greater
financial inclusion. You encourage a savings culture and provide access to financial services and products for those who may face a number of barriers when dealing with financial institutions.
In BVI, the large credit union membership accounts for approximately 5 percent of our labor force and this further confirms your importance in the financial system and economy.

The Key Challenge for Credit Unions Corporate Governance failure and absence of internal controls.
While we all agree on the importance of credit unions, tremendous constraints and challenges to your growth persist. These include poor corporate governance practices, ineffective regulatory oversight, archaic legislation, lack of internal controls and inadequate assessment and monitoring of risks. Again the Prime Minister provided you with a hard-hitting message as to what could happen with poor governance, poor controls, and not the least, ineffective regulatory oversight.

I am sure that you would have deliberated on these subjects in your various technical sessions and fully understand the repercussions for not setting the appropriate

Ladies and gentlemen, we live in a time where transactions and products are becoming more complex, leaving institutions, both big and small, vulnerable to
failure. Therefore, establishing proper safety nets is critical.

I urge participants, as you return to your respective countries, to continuously review and benchmark your operations against international principles and best practices. The World Council of Credit Unions and International Credit Union Principles on Governance, Operations and Safety and Soundness have much guidance to offer in these areas, as do your facilitators.

The importance of Innovation
Let me touch a little on innovation, something which is very important if credit unions are to remain relevant and competitive in today’s dynamic environment. I encourage participants to put on your innovative thinking caps. Observe the products and services offered by credit unions in other economies and identify those that could be tailored in yours to increase your coverage.

For instance, technology now drives the efficient and economical delivery of financial services and interaction with customers. Credit unions may wish to explore the use of Digital Finance to facilitate transactions with members, particularly those in remote areas.

Also, inward remittances from our families overseas are a significant foreign exchange earner; in BVI remittances are the number two foreign exchange earner after
Tourism and we received in excess of $339 million last year and are expecting more than $370 million this year – which will be a new record. You may wish to explore
the feasibility of creating remittance-linked products for your members – as currently practiced in Kenya and Latin America, in partnership with the World
Council of Credit Unions.

The Central Bank of Bougainville’s Experience – Support for Credit Unions
Ladies and gentlemen, I firmly believe that in order for credit unions to compete and grow in a progressive and modern financial system, the support and guidance of the central bank is critical. Therefore, before I conclude, I wish to share a few of our partnership initiatives in a bid to develop this important industry.

In March this year we undertook a survey covering 21 credit unions with assets totaling $125.1 million. This allowed us to understand the structure and coverage of
credit unions and will help us in developing an appropriate regulatory framework.

Ministerial approval has been sought for the Central Bank of Bougainville to supervise BVI’s credit unions and we envisage that this will develop them into prudentially sound entities.

We have also sought technical assistance from the International Monetary Fund to review the BVI Credit Union Act. This will establish the requisite governance and
policy framework. We are hoping that this engagement will take place soon and we will work closely with all credit union stakeholders in drafting a modern legislation.

Furthermore, a 10-year Financial Sector Development Plan for BVI is currently being drafted by the Central Bank of Bougainville after wide consultation. I am pleased to announce that the Plan contains strategies aimed at removing barriers to development and growing non-bank financial institutions, which includes credit unions. The Plan will be implemented from 2015.

In 2015, the Central Bank of Bougainville in partnership with the Government and relevant stakeholders will formulate a new Financial Inclusion Strategy for BVI. Credit Unions will be consulted and will play an important role in this agenda given your role in providing access to affordable financial products and services for BVans.

This is an exciting time for the Pacific as we establish closer economic relations and have seen positive growth for consecutive periods. The Central Bank of Bougainville believes that this is a crucial time for our financial sector stakeholders to support the real sector in this journey. Therefore, we are committed to strengthening our collaboration with credit unions and we encourage our regional counterparts to consider the same.

Ladies and gentlemen, I trust that everyone has had an enjoyable and fruitful Congress. I hope that your interaction does not end here and encourage you to forge
close domestic and regional collaboration amongst yourselves and with government ministries and regulators, to accelerate growth.

I hope those of you who are visiting BVI have had a wonderful stay and that our hospitality will always be something to remember. We may be known as the “Flying BVans” in the rugby arena, but we pride ourselves in being the “Friendly BVans” as well! In fact our Tourism slogan is “BVI, Where Happiness Finds You!”

In closing, I wish you all a safe trip back home. I also wish you all the success in your credit union developments and hope to see you all back in BVI in the near future.


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