The Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat with the support of the World Bank, will be hosting a high-level event on Correspondent Banking Relationships (CBR) from the 27th to the 28th March 2024 in Sydney, Australia.

The event will bring together ministers of finance, central bank governors and other senior finance and banking officials from Forum member countries as well as the public and private sector stakeholders and development partners to discuss and identify possible long-term solutions to address the decline of CBR in the region through the implementation of the CBR Roadmap. The CBR work and roadmap was endorsed by the Forum Economic Ministers Meeting in 2023.

Pacific Islands Forum Secretary General, Henry Puna will be leading the PIFS delegation to the meeting.

“The timing and momentum of this work is auspicious, building on the MOU we have recently signed with the U.S Treasury. These and other efforts will keep us moving at pace towards the upcoming inaugural Pacific Banking Forum later this year and deliver a solid economic ministerial agenda for this year,” said SG Puna.

Correspondent banking relationships are at the core of the global payments system, enabling cross-border payments and other banking services between banks around the world. In recent years, CBRs have declined in the Pacific impacting the ability to conduct U.S dollar transactions.

At their 2023 Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM), ministers endorsed a CBR review report undertaken by the World Bank covering 13 Forum member countries.

The event is the first step of implementing the CBR Roadmap and will include discussions with key stakeholders on options for supporting Pacific economies at high risk of CBR withdrawal.