The Solomon Islands Minister of Finance and Treasury, Hon. Rick Hou has introduced a Bill to permit the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) to issue an interim license to carry out limited banking service.

Minister Hou introduced the Bill in his second reading of the Financial Institutions (Amendment) Bill 2013 in Parliament this week.

He said under the new Bill an applicant can carry out limited banking service for a period of 6- 12 months while the Central Bank considers their application under the Act.

Hou told Parliament under the current legislation, once an application for a banking license is received, the Central Bank must consider a range of factors.

The Central Bank also considers governance and prudential arrangements around the proposed banking business.

He stressed once these factors are considered, a full licence is either granted or rejected.

“On the amendments, what will change is that the Central Bank will be able to issue an interim licence, following an initial assessment that will permit applicant to begin establishing their business pending the license itself being granted.

“These amendments are intended to improve flexibility in the market in a way that is not provided under the current legislative arrangements.

“I assure this nation this Bill should provide better opportunity to those of our entrepreneurs who are keen to invest in banking business. They will in no way compromise the regulatory requirements for banks under the existing legislations.”

Parliament passed the Bill after a marathon of debate.