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The Republic of Palau was selected to host a workshop for banking supervisors from the North Pacific region. This was the first time in the history of the PFSR for a regional workshop to be held specifically for members of the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Centre (PFTAC) and the Association of Financial Supervisors from Pacific Countries (AFSPC) from the Northern Pacific region. Bank supervisory officials from the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands attended the workshops, which were facilitated by PFTAC Technical Advisor Mr. John Vaught. Mr. Wilson Waguk, Banking Commissioner for the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Ms. Melsihner Hadley, Bank Examiner for the FSM Banking Commission, Ms. Maria Lanwi Nathan, Bank Examiner for the Marshall Islands Banking Authority, Mr. Tesfalem Aatifa, Executive Commissioner of the Palau Palau Financial Services Regulation (PFSR), and Ms. Lindsay Timarong, PFSR Bank Examiner, all participated in the workshop.

The workshop commenced on Monday, July 9th and lasted through Friday, July 13th and covered topics related to the off-site monitoring  of banking institutions, specifically the new standardized prudential reporting forms that will be utilized by banking authorities in the North Pacific region. During the workshop week, participants also discussed standards for data compilation with regard to monetary statistics, and thus, representatives from the Palau Office of Statistics were also invited to join in on these sessions. Mr. Rhinehart Silas from the Palau Statistics Office and Mr. Mark Sturton, Consultant, attended the first day of the workshop and made recommendations on the compilation of data for monetary statistics.

Palau has been a member of the AFSPC since 2003. The Association was created in late 2002 by eight Heads of Supervision in the Pacific region and endorsed by the Governors of Central Banks and Ministers of Finance. The Governors endorsed its formation with the intent of forming an alliance that would represent the voice of the Pacific in an international forum where financial supervision issues are debated. The objectives and activities of the AFSPC are listed in its 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, to which all member countries and observer countries must subscribe.

The inaugural members of the AFSPC are the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, and Vanuatu. The Cook Islands and Palau became members in 2003. Australia, New Zealand, and the State of Hawaii are observers, which means that these are countries or territories that actively support the objectives of the Association. With administrative support from the Reserve Bank of Fiji, PFTAC acts as Secretariat for the association. More information on the AFSPC is found on the internet at http://www.pftac.org/afspc_site/.

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