Financial Services Sector Assessment for Samoa
The Samoan economy has been growing steadily for the past three years, registering an average annual GDP growth rate of 1.5%. However, nearly 25% of the households remain in poverty. One of the many reasons is the informal nature of the economy, where a large section of society does not interact with formal institutions, especially the financial institutions. There is strong momentum within the government and private sector financial service providers to make the financial sector more inclusive, where everyone is able to access a variety of suitable, affordable and safe financial services.
This report is intended to provide an overview of the status of the financial services sector from the perspective of providing services to low-income and rural populations, consequently offering analytical information to policy makers to understand and address the market constraints, at the same time highlighting opportunities for service providers to improve the access and quality of financial services. The suggestions made in the report are by no means comprehensive and may not fit with service providers’ internal business strategy, but they provide a solid departure point from which to formulate policies and priorities for a more coordinated approach to developing an inclusive financial system in Samoa.
The report is based on the information gathered by experts through personal interviews; companies' submitted records, and data available with the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) and Pacific Financial Inclusion Programme (PFIP). In addition to consolidating the in-house existing knowledge of CBS and PFIP, a total of 24 other organizations were consulted, through personal interviews.