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Co-funded by the European Union

Supporting the Development Bank of Samoa




Business Regulation and Policy






The Development Bank of Samoa was established in 1974. The primary objective was to provide financing for agricultural projects to stimulate economic growth. Over the years, the DBS has grown and diversified its mandate to cover all development sectors to enable the sustainable economic and social development of Samoa. Its priorities include agriculture and fishing, tourism, commerce, services, MSMEs, financial inclusion and social enhancement for wealth and livelihood. The DBS also sometimes implements special development assistance approved by the Government.


DBS was provided with capacity building on credit risk management, customer relations and financing for MSMEs. Roundtables were organised with other banks from the Pacific in order to share knowledge and promote collaboration. Furthermore, loan appraisal templates were developed for small and medium-size loans.The ICR Facility provided tailor-made technical assistance to selected Development Finance Institutions. The banks chose the topics of the support based on their priorities. 


The Development Bank of Samoa was established in 1974 with the objective to provide affordable credit financing services to support the sustainable economic and social development of Samoa.

DBS has chosen to receive support on four topics:

  • Credit risk management
  • Customer relations
  • Innovative financing for MSMEs
  • Climate finance, along with other Pacific Development Finance Institutions


According to DBS, staff now apply the techniques learnt in the customer relations training, including taking more time to speak to clients. DBS also offers continuous trainings to its loan officers based on the learnings from the intervention.

The improvements in the credit risk management system have already been applied to settle several non-performing loans. The processing time for small and medium loans applications has been reduced and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) norms are better used by DBS.


The ICR support was very timely as the DBS was seeking partners for technical assistance. The connection to the ICR Facility came through Samoa’s Ambassador in Brussels. This is the first time that we have engaged with the EU and partners in Europe. This was not a one­off support but was longer­term, and we are very appreciative of this opportunity to work with ICR to address capacity priorities of the DBS.” “The support received from ICR has assisted in the development of the CRM template that aligns with our CRM policy. Our Board has approved the template which has been used since the 1st July 2022. We now expect a timely turn­around to appraise loans as we prepare the automation of our CRM processes. This has been a great support and encouragement to our lending team and we look forward to seeing positive impact to our lending operation and recovery of non­performing loans (NPLs).

Susana Laulu, CEO of DBS

The technical assistance received by the Development Bank of Samoa has been helpful. It enables to ease our assessment: we no longer do a manual assessment for loan appraisals. The new template has saved us enough time for other work commitment

Aiufi Kelekolio, Loans Administration Manager at DBS
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