The Pacific Financial Inclusion Partnership (PFIP) is a joint programme of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). PFIP receives funding support from the Australian Government͛s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), the European Union (EU), and the New Zealand Government͛s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Fiji͛’s Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism enlisted the support of a Technical Working Group to develop the new Consumer Credit Act (CCA). Public and private sector members of this group included representatives of the Solicitor – General’s Office, the Reserve Bank of Fiji, the Commerce Commission of Fiji, the Consumer Council of Fiji, the Association of Banks in Fiji, the Finance Companies Association and PFIP. PFIP provided technical and financial support for the project as part of its mandate for consumer protection in the financial sector.
The development of the new CCA is consistent with the objectives of Fiji͛s new National Financial Inclusion Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020. A key objective of the Plan is to ensure all Fijians have sufficient financial competencies to better utilise the financial services available and foster improved consumer protection. (section 5.2).
The new CCA is expected to be simply expressed, using clear legislation which provides a balanced approach to consumer protection and the interests of credit providers. It will also be consistent with international best practice standards, while recognising the Fijian context. One leading example of such standards is the G20 High-Level Principles on Financial Consumer Protection. Also relevant is the Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection prepared by the Microfinance CEO͛s Working Group, which is based on the Smart Campaign͛s Client Protection Principles.
Ros drafted the proposed new CCA under the terms of her consultancy with UNDP and PFIP