By EDDIE OSIFELO
CENTRAL Bank of Solomon Islands reported a net loss of $62.7 million at the end of last year.
This stemmed from weak investment returns overseas and unfavourable foreign currency revaluations.
CBSI Governor, Dr Luke Forau when presented the Banks’ 2021 Annual Report in this medium last week, said of the $62.7 million loss, $15.5 million was realized (operational) losses and $47 million was due to unrealized foreign currency revaluation.
He said the Bank’s net equity however, remained firm at $308 million.
“Despite the loss, the Bank continued to operate and managed its resources prudently, thereby achieving its mandate.
“Moreover, the Central Bank managed to cushion the economy from worst adversities in the toughest of times,” he said.
“This, of course, was done with the strategic oversight role played by the Board, which I commend them sincerely.
“With the full board comprising nine directors, they were able to provide strategic direction to the organization,” he said.
Furthermore, in terms of staffing, Dr Luke said there was no change to the Bank’s staff complement.
He said the total number of staff complement remained unchanged at 157, as was in 2020.
“Of the 157 staff, 61% were male and 39% female.
“The Bank continues to invest in training and upskilling of its work force despite COVID-19 setbacks,” he said.
Dr Luke said a total of 20 officers were engaged in full and part-time trainings, of which 9 officers successfully completed their tertiary qualifications.
Moreover, Dr Luke said with respect to financial stability, the overall financial system remains stable and sound amidst weak economic conditions and COVID-19 induced disruptions in 2021.
He said the Central Bank relaxed prudential guidelines 2 and 8 during the year to allow financial institutions to provide loan reliefs to borrowers.
Furthermore, CBSI granted a full banking license to Solomon Finance Limited (SFL) in December 2021 to operate banking services as a credit institution.
Dr Luke said in the financial inclusion space, the Bank and its stakeholders launched the third National Financial Inclusion Strategy for Solomon Islands (NFIS3) 2022-2025 in 2021.
The strategy provides a roadmap of key strategic objectives of financial inclusion policies and activities for the next 3 years.