The predecessor to the Development Bank of Solomon Islands (DBSI) was the Agriculture and Industrial Loans Board established by the Agriculture and Industrial Loans Board Ordinance in 1955. This Ordinance was repealed by the then Legislative Assembly in 1977 and replaced with the Development Bank of Solomon Islands Ordinance which established the DBSI as a development finance institution.
When Solomon Islands gained Independence in 1978, the 1977 Ordinance was replaced with the DBSI Act of 1978 by operation of the Independence Order and later, upon review, the Act became known as the DBSI Act cap.50.
In mid-2004, Solomon Islands had just come out of an ethnic tension period following the Australian led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI) at the end of 2003. At that point in time, institutional and governance weaknesses led to the DBSI becoming insolvent. As a result, the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (CBSI) applied to the High Court to become the Court Appointed Manager of DBSI under the Financial Institutions Act for what was then supposed to be an initial period of six months. However, this liquidation process was constantly extended.
Efforts to revive the now defunct bank began in earnest in 2014 when the then DCC Government announced its intention to revive the development bank to cater for SMEs and other micro-financing schemes in rural areas. This led to the establishment of a Cabinet Sub-Committee in 2015, mandated to oversee and ensure DBSI’s revival and operations and in 2018, the DBSI was re-established under the Development Bank of Solomon Islands Act 2018.
Following our re-establishment, DBSI now operates under three key building blocks, one of which is not to repeat the development bank’s past mistakes. DBSI now has stronger governance measures in place under the new Development Bank of Solomon Islands Act 2018 and the Act demands more independence from political interference for its operations. We are determined to complement this improvement with sound policies and guidelines and a strong monitoring and evaluation regime that will ensure the bank continues to operate in a risky environment to serve the development aspirations of all Solomon Islanders without putting the bank’s operations at risk. We now think Solomon Islands in everything we do!