Launch of the Fiji Financial Services Demand Side Survey
  • September 17, 2015

The Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme jointly launched the Fiji Financial Services Demand Side Survey report at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva.

The Fiji report is aimed to help government and other stakeholders gain better understanding of the needs of Fijians in regard to financial services and products by providing baseline data on access, usage and quality of the financial services and products currently available to all Fijians from the viewpoint of the customer.

The Fiji Financial Inclusion Demand Side (DSS) Survey report is the work of the Government of Fiji particularly the Fiji Bureau of Statistics and Reserve Bank of Fiji, together with National Financial Inclusion Taskforce and the Statistics Working Group. Contributions to the survey and report was also made by the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion. The Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme provided funding for the Fiji Demand Side Survey through its Fiji bi-lateral programme with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

According to the survey results, formal financial inclusion is higher among urban Fijians, men, and those with higher incomes with 60 percent of all Fijians having bank accounts, which is comparatively higher than other Pacific Island countries where such surveys have been conducted.

However, nine percent of Fijians continue to have access only to informal sources of finances, whereas 27 percent are completely excluded. Rural Fijians face high barriers to financial inclusion such as long distances to the nearest access points and long wait times to open an account.

UNCDF Executive Secretary Ms. Karl noted that financial inclusion is about reaching poor people with the financial services and products they need to build bridges out of poverty and improve their lives. It is by definition a sector that has to be client-centric in its approach. If people don’t see the value in using a product, don’t understand a product, or find it too difficult or expensive to use, they won’t use it.

The study also reveals that financial inclusion is lower in the Eastern and Western Provinces; among women; among iTaukei adults; among young adults; and among agricultural or casual workers.

The UNCDF Executive Secretary pointed to the need for targeted interventions to address the specific needs and overcome the specific obstacles unique to these population groups.

The results of the Fiji survey will be used to develop evidence-based policy solutions to address the gaps, as well as to monitor the growth of financial inclusion. One of the key objectives of this survey will be determining and agreeing on a new set of Financial Inclusion Targets which will be incorporated into the new Financial Inclusion Strategy for Fiji.

“Studies like this are an essential step in the financial inclusion journey. That journey cannot proceed smoothly if it doesn’t know what path to follow. This study helps to reveal that path. Looking ahead, UNCDF stands ready to work with the Government and Reserve Bank, and all our partners, so that together we can reach all Fijians with the financial services and products they need” said UNCDF Executive Ms. Karl.


The United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) is the UN’s capital investment agency for the world’s 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs). UNCDF uses its capital mandate to help LDCs pursue inclusive growth. UNCDF uses ‘smart’ Official Development Assistance (ODA) to unlock and leverage public and private domestic resources; it promotes financial inclusion, including through digital finance, as a key enabler of poverty reduction and inclusive growth; and it demonstrates how localizing finance outside the capital cities can accelerate growth in local economies, promote sustainable and climate resilient infrastructure development, and empower local communities. Using capital grants, loans, and credit enhancements, UNCDF tests financial models in inclusive finance and local development finance; ‘de-risks’ the local investment space; and proves concept, paving the way for larger and more risk-averse investors to come in and scale up.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

In New York:

Chiara Pace - Communications Specialist; Tel: +1-212-906-6569;
Email:, Website:


PFIP is a Pacific-wide programme helping low-income households gain access to quality and affordable financial services and financial education. It is jointly managed by the UN Capital Development Fund (UNC DF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UN DP) and receives funding from the Australian Government, the European Union and the New Zealand Government. PFIP funding for the Fiji Demand Side Survey was from the DFAT Fiji bi-lateral programme.

PFIP aims to add one million Pacific Islanders to the formal financial sector by 2019 by spearheading policy and regulatory initiatives, facilitating access to appropriate financial services and delivery channels and by strengthening financial competencies and consumer empowerment.

For more information or media inquiries please contact:

In Suva:

Shadiyana Begum – PFIP Communication for Development Consultant; Tel: +679 322 7538; Email: ; Website: