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LIQUIDATION ROCKS SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANKS

The Sierra Leone Commercial Banks are the leading Banks in Sierra Leone today which has six (6) core values that it utilizes to attract investors and new members as well as maintaining customers. These    Core values are Team ethics, Integrity and Commitment, driving customers’ success, insist on excellence, creating a climate of openness and trust and personal values. However, it is unfortunate that the country’s largest Banks  failing to uphold these core values and thus making  customers dissatisfied with the Banking Institutions.

The Banks among other things are supposed to give out loans not only to Government institutions but also to individuals/employees with stable jobs that have served parastatals (Government Agencies) for 3 consecutive years. Applicants of such loans are required to collect loan application forms and apply and must get the approval of their bosses or institutional heads they work for. The Sierra Leone Commercial Banks on the other hand are required to approve or discredit the loan application within a period of two weeks (14 working days). However, reports reaching this medium reveal that the Sierra Leone Commercial Banks have not been honouring their own part of the agreement since the beginning of this year and the Banks authorities have failed to explain the reason or reasons responsible for such failure to an extent that some people have accused the Banks of being under serious liquidation.

Customers of the Sierra Leone Commercial Banks who are mainly Government employees of different parastatals in Freetown have bitterly complained that the Sierra Leone Commercial Banks for what they referred to as their failures to honour their own part of the agreement known as “integrity commitment and driving customers’ success” which are the two Core values of the Banks. Some employees working for various Government institutions in Freetown have informed Standard Times that they had applied for some little amount of loans to the Banks for the past couple of months but did not understand why they could not get the loans from the Banks. “I applied for the sum of Five Million Leones (5,000,000) in early August this year, but I have not heard anything positive from my Bank. Any time you check they will tell you it’s on the queue. This is unfortunate.” Said a customer who preferred anonymity. Another employee informed Standard Times that he applied for a loan of Six Million Leones (6,000,000) for the purchase of household furniture since May 2017 but has not got any information from the Bank authorities despite the fact that he had done all the necessary paper work for the loan. “As an employee of the Government of Sierra Leone I was thinking that the Sierra Leone Commercial Banks will be on our side as customers suffering under austerity that seems endless.” I applied for the loan to pay my annual rent since the Government cannot pay my rent which is my entitlement because of austerity and now I have been disappointed by the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank which I was expecting to have stood by my side at such a trying time especially so when am expected to repay on high interest rate”, he lamented, adding that the Bank is a total disappointment. The head of one of the parastatals who wants to be anonymous also informed this medium that his Bank recently turned down his request for loan saying that they cannot give out institutional loans. He said he had wanted the loan to address some pressing administrative matters. The customers also revealed that authorities of the Banks with effect 2017 imposed another 5% interest on the 25 making it 30% interest; yet still approving their individual loans is becoming a problem.

What has surprised many customers is that the Sierra Leone Commercial Banks authorities have failed to explain to the public and have continued to keep a sealed lip over the pressing queries being raised by customers of the Banks. The fact that the Banks are becoming incapable of giving out small loans to its customers as well as inept to give big loans to Institutions/parastatals tells that the Bank is facing liquidation

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