27 February 2017

Secured transactions registry launched in Samoa

Seated (left to right) at the launch of the Personal Property Securities Registry are ADB’s
team of  consultants that supported development of the registry: Anthony Frazier,
Paul Rankin, Gary Sin and Aaron Levine
Lending institutions in Samoa will be able to provide credit to more businesses following the launch of an online registry that makes it easier to accept movable property — such as machinery, accounts receivable, or inventory — as collateral.

Activation of the Personal Property Securities Registry was the culmination of an extensive PSDI-support reform to establish a personal property securities framework in Samoa, through which security interests in movable property can be safely and easily recorded.

“Access to credit is a critical driver of economic growth. It allows new businesses to form, successful businesses to grow, and jobs and wealth to be created,” said Masud Nizami, Financial Sector Specialist with ADB’s Pacific Liaison and Coordination Office. “With limited land ownership in Samoa, using movable property as security for loans makes sense — it makes credit possible for all businesses with assets and it ‘unlocks’ the value of these assets to help grow the private sector.”

Lenders can use the online registry to secure their claim on assets borrowers have pledged as collateral and verify that the asset has not already been pledged elsewhere. Moreover, under the new framework, lenders can repossess a pledged asset in the event of non-repayment without needing a lawyer and a court order.

ADB Consultant Anthony Frazier hosts a training session with lawyers following the
launch of the Personal Property Securities Registry
It is expected that the convenience and accessibility of the registry will also encourage non-bank suppliers — such as wholesalers, agricultural stores, exporters, and vehicle dealerships — to extend credit, as this can now be secured against their customers’ business assets or products.

The registry was launched by Tuifa'asisina Misa Lisati Leleisiuao Palemene, Samoa's Associate Minister of Commerce, Industry, and Labor, at a ceremony attended by government and private sector representatives, church and community groups, and the Australian and New Zealand High Commissioners to Samoa.

PSDI International Business Law Reform Expert Aaron Levine gave a demonstration of the registry’s functions.

PSDI is now working the Government of Samoa to raise lenders’ awareness of the new system and encourage the creation of new lending products.