Useful Information for Students

The content of this page includes useful information for students and public interest. This includes Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and Glossary of economic terms used in the context of Central Bank of Solomon Islands.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ) that students and public usually want information regarding them are posted below with their answers. If you don’t find the question you are looking for below, then feel free to email us or see our front desk staff for further information.

Currency and Banking FAQ’s

Q: What is the Solomon Islands currency called?

A: The Solomon Islands currency is called Solomon Islands Dollar (with the international currency code of ‘SBD’) and the coins are called cents. One SBD consists of 100 cents

Q: What are the present denominations of banknotes in Solomon Islands?

A:  At present, banknotes in Solomon Islands are issued in the denomination of SBD $2, SBD $5, SBD $10, SBD $20, SBD $50 and SBD $100. These notes are called bank notes as they are issued by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands.

Q: Can banknotes and coins be issued only in these denominations?

A: Not necessarily. The Central Bank can also issue banknotes in the denominations and of such composition, weight, form and design as shall be approved by the Minister who shall before giving such approval consult with the Central Bank.

Q: What are the present available denominations of coins in circulation in Solomon Islands

A: Presently SBD $2, $1, 50 cents, 20 cents, 10cents, 5cents are being issued.

Q: What is legal tender?

A: Subject to the provisions of subsection 25 of the CBSI Act 0f 1996 ( Legal Tender, 19 of 1982, s.2)  , currency issued by the Central Bank shall be legal tender in Solomon Islands –

  1.    currency shall be legal tender if:
    1. in the case of notes, for the payment of any amount;
    2. in the case of gold coins, for the payment of any amount;
    3. in the case of silver coins, for the payment of an amount not exceeding fifty dollars;
    4. in the case of other coins of a denomination of one dollar or more, for the payment of an amount not exceeding ten dollars;
    5. in the case of coins of a denomination of five cents or more but less than one dollar, for the payment of an amount not exceeding five dollars
    6. In the case of coins of a denomination of less than five cents, for the payment of an amount not exceeding one dollar.
  2. A note or coin that has been illegally dealt with shall not be legal tender.
  3. For the purposes of this Act, a note or coin shall be deemed to have been illegally dealt with if it has been impaired, diminished or lightened otherwise than by fair wear and tear, or has been defaced by having any name, word, device or number printed, stamped or engraved thereon whether it has or has not been thereby diminished.
Q: What is the role of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands in currency management?

A: The Central Bank derives its role in currency management from the Central Bank of Solomon Islands Act; 1982.The Central Bank manages currency in Solomon Islands. The Government, on the advice of the Central Bank, decides on various denominations of banknotes to be issued. The Central Bank also co-ordinates with the Government in the designing of banknotes, including the security features. The Central Bank estimates the quantity of banknotes that are likely to be needed denomination-wise and accordingly, places indent with the various printing presses. Banknotes received from commercial banks are examined and those fit for circulation are reissued and the others (soiled and mutilated) are destroyed so as to maintain the quality of banknotes in circulation.

Q: Who decides on the volume and value of banknotes to be printed and on what basis?

A: The Central Bank decides the volume and value of banknotes to be printed each year. The quantum of banknotes that needs to be printed, broadly depends on the requirement for meeting the demand for banknotes due to inflation, GDP growth, replacement of soiled banknotes and reserve stock requirements.

Q: Who decides on the quantity of coins to be minted?

A: The Central Bank shall ;
(a) arrange for the printing of notes and the minting of coins and for all matters related thereto;
(b) issue, re-issue and redeem such notes and coins;
(c) arrange for the safe custody of unissued stocks of notes and coins and for the preparation, safe custody and destruction of plates for the printing of notes and of dies for the minting of coin and for the safe disposal of withdrawn notes and coin which are not required for re-issue; and
(d) arrange for the manufacture, distribution and sale of such notes and coins of a numismatic nature as it sees fit.

Q: How does the Central Bank estimate the demand for banknotes?

A: The Central Bank estimates the demand for banknotes on the basis of the growth rate of the economy, the replacement demand and reserve stock requirements by using statistical models/techniques.

Q: How does the Central Bank reach the currency to people?

A: The Central Bank presently manages the currency operations through its Currency Banking Operations Department, mainly the Currency Unit. The Currency Unit receives fresh banknotes from the banknote printing presses and dispatch fresh banknote remittances to the designated commercial banks via its commercial Teller. The Central Bank initially receives the coins from the mints then sends them to designated Commercial Banks.

Q: What happens when the banknotes and coins return from circulation?

A: Banknotes and coins returned from circulation are deposited at the Central Bank. The Central Bank subjects these to processing, authenticates banknotes for their genuineness, and segregates them into notes fit for reissue and those which are not, for cancellation. The banknotes which are fit for reissue are sent back in circulation and those which are unfit for reissue are destroyed by way of punching, shredding and burning after completion of examination process. Similarly, coins received back from circulation are either reissued or are stored for future purposes or are sent to the Mints for melting.

Q: From where can the general public obtain banknotes and coins?

A: Banknotes and coins can be obtained in exchange at any of the commercial banks and or at the Central Bank’s Commercial Teller.

Q: What are soiled and mutilated banknotes?

A: Soiled banknotes are banknotes, which have become dirty and limp due to excessive use. Mutilated banknotes are banknotes, which are torn, disfigured, burnt, washed, eaten by white ants, etc

Q: Can such banknotes be exchanged for value?

A: Yes. All the commercial banks branches have been authorized to provide the facility of exchanging soiled banknotes.

Q: How much value would one get in exchange of soiled or mutilated banknotes?

A: Soiled banknotes are exchanged full value. Payment of value of mutilated banknotes is governed by the Central Bank of Solomon Islands (Note Refund) Rules, 1982. These Rules have been framed under Section 25(3) & 27 of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands Act, 1982. The public can get value for these banknotes as a matter of grace as laid down in the Rules, after adjudication.

Q: What types of banknotes are not eligible for payment under the Note Refund Rules?

A: The following banknotes are not payable under the Central Bank of Solomon Islands Rules;

     A banknote, which is:
(a) less than half the area of the full banknote
(b) cancelled by the Central Bank or against which the value has already been paid
(c) found to be forged / counterfeit
(d) deliberately cut, mutilated or tampered carrying extrinsic words or visible representation intended to convey or capable of conveying any message of a political character

Q: Where are soiled/mutilated banknotes accepted?

A:  All banks are authorized to accept soiled banknotes across their counters and pay the exchange value. They are expected to offer this service even to non-customers.

Q: Are there any special features in the bank notes of Solomon Islands?

A: The Solomon Islands Dollar bank notes contained several special features.

These are:
(a) Security thread: $2, $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 notes contain fully embedded security thread. This thread is partially exposed and partially embedded. When held against light, this thread can be seen as one continuous line.
(b) Latent Image:  A vertical band next to the (right side) Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait or Court of Arms which contains a latent image, showing the denominational value 2, 5, 10, 20,  50 or 100 as the case may be.
(c) Water Mark Image: Contains the letters “CBSI” with an eagle’s head or a flying eagle.

Q: Clean Note Policy:

A: The Central Bank of Solomon Islands has been continuously making efforts to make good quality banknotes available to the members of public. To help the Central Bank and banking system, the members of public are requested to ensure the following:
     (a) Not to staple the banknotes
     (b) Not to write / put rubber stamp or any other mark on the banknotes
     (c) Store the banknotes safely to prevent  any damage

Q: How does one differentiate between a genuine banknote and forged/counterfeit banknote?

A: The banknote on which the above explained features i.e., the features of genuine banknotes are not available / absent can be suspected to be a counterfeit banknote and examined minutely.

Q: What are the legal provisions relating to printing and circulation of forged banknotes?

A:  Counterfeiting banknotes using as genuine, forged or counterfeit banknotes / possession of forged or counterfeit banknote/making or possessing instruments or materials for forging or counterfeiting banknotes making or using documents resembling banknotes  are offences under Section 24, (2). Any person who contravenes the provisions of this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine of fifty thousand dollars or to imprisonment for seven years, or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

Economics, Research and Statistics FAQ’s

Q: What is government Expenditure?

A: Government spending is spent on certain areas of government to administer its daily functions Recurrent expenditure

  1. Payroll
  2. Other charges
  3. Development spending
    Basically development spending is partly funded by SIG and other consolidate

    1. SIG – development spending
    2. Consolidated
Q: What is Development Spending?

A: Development spending is best described as the purchase of goods and services proposed to create future benefits, such as infrastructure investment or research spending, Education Investment, Health Awareness, Agriculture Development Fisheries development and etc. Development expenditure is as well defined as explore of certain projects to make a conducive environment for the expansion of business activities in areas which appropriate in aiming to create future benefits.

It also concerned with the enhancement of living and working conditions of the people living in rural zones gathered in production and consumer family units, whether they be agricultural or non agricultural, hence of the institutions and actions affecting directly the livelihood of those people. Like in our case (SI) funds have been allocated for development on certain projects such as, Rural Development  Livelihood Project, Health Institutional Strengthening Project (HISP), Gizo Water Supply, Bina Industrial and Deep Sea Port Development, Law and Justice, Provincial Tourism Development and so on. However, almost 80% of these projects have been funded by the donors, mainly ROC, NzAid, AUSaid and the other 20% by the Solomon Islands government.

Q: Why Development Expenditure is important?

A: In the short-run development spending is very essential for the reason that to earn some revenue for the government and in return to run the daily functions or activities of government like salaries and wages of public servants, paying of administrative matters and even financing its debt both domestically and external debts. Also, these generate profit for business people and employees and at the same time they generate income derived from taxes that will be reinvested back into the economy.

Well in the long-run  infrastructure development is important in upgrading of our roads, bridges, ships and airports in order to make business activities efficient and by then will generate profit for the business owner and employees and further reinvest back into the economy through taxation. This will further leads to creating job opportunities in the country to increase our economy. Moreover, government spends on education to invest on our country human capital which would later have the skilled and knowledge and bring asset to country.

Q: What is debt stock?

A: Debt stock is the total amount of debt held by a country

Q: What is debt servicing?

A: Debt servicing total amount a country spends on its debts, consisting of interest pay¬ments and repayments of principal.

Q: What are arrears?

A: Arrears are the backlog of debt payments that have not been made and are building up over time.

Q: What is an External debt?

A: External debt is a debt owed to foreign creditors and denomination in foreign currency.

Q: What is an Domestic debts?

A: Domestic debt stock is a debt owed to creditors resident in the same country as the debtor, and denominated in local currency.

Q: What is SIG budget?

A: Budget is document which gives guidelines on what the government expected to received and also predict how much it will spend on in order to achieve its goal, compared to previous years.

Glossary of Terms

The following terminologies are defined in the context of Solomon Islands

  • Balance of Payments (BOP): Records all payments and receipts relating to the movement of fund between a country and foreign countries.
  • Bank Liquidity: Total amount of cash held by banks and not used for investment or other transaction.
  • Capital Account: Records international transactions relating to the flow of capital between a country and foreign countries, such as investment, loan etc.
  • Current Account: Records international transactions relating to the flow of goods, services, income and gifts. A surplus indicates higher inflows than outflows and a deficit indicates the opposite.
  • Domestic Credit: Value of loans and advances obtained from within the country.
  • Excess Liquidity: The Liquidity that banks posses that is greater than the minimum proscribed by the Central bank.
  • Exchange Rate: The price of foreign currencies stated in terms of the local currency or the vice versa.
  • Exports: Goods that a country sells broad.
  • External Reserves: Stock of foreign currency assets of the Central Bank. These assets are earned through exports, foreign aid and loans obtained from institutions abroad.
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP): Total value of all final goods and services produced in an economy during the course of a year.
  • Honiara Retail Price Index (HRPI): A consumer price index which shows the price level and changes in price level of goods and services in Honiara over time. This information forms the basis for calculating inflation in the economy.
  • Imports: Goods that a country buys from abroad.
  • Liquidity Asset Requirement: Usually defined as a percentage of deposit liabilities of a commercial bank that shall be hold as cash or as balance with the Central bank.
  • Money Supply: The total quantity of money in a country’s economy at a particular time.
  • Narrow Money: Notes and coins in the hands of the public plus money held on demand deposits at the Central Bank.
  • Net Credit to Government: Value of borrowings by Government less its deposits at the banks and the Central Bank.
  • Private Sector Credit: Value of borrowings by private companies and individuals within the country.
  • Quasi Money: Total of time deposits and savings deposits.
  • Trade Surplus/deficit: A trade surplus is when the value of exports is higher than the value of imports, whilst a deficit is when receipts from exports are less than payments for imports.