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|CBL Governor Upbeat By Growth In Banking Sector-As GT Bank Launches Operations|
|Published on May 29, 2009||Email To Friend Print Version
The official launching of Guaranty Trust Bank (Liberia) has registered another milestone in the country’s post war banking sector, Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor J. Mills Jones says.
An impressed Jones, speaking at the ceremony yesterday in Monrovia said the banking system in Liberia has made great strides in the last few years, and more positive developments were in the pipeline.
He said the opening of GT Bank now brings to 8 the number of commercials banks in the country, and another one is expected sometimes this year to raise the number to 9.
Governor Jones said he was elated to be a part of the official launching ceremony of GT Bank because the country was welcoming into its banking system, an organization with over 18 years of banking experience; one that has over the years won several awards for strong financial performance, excellent customer service delivery, and management efficiency.
“It is certainly our expectation that this tradition of excellence will continue in Liberia. So far, the word reaching us is that the management team of Guaranty Trust Liberia is off to a good start,” the Governor said.
The bank, operating in several parts of Africa and the UK is reportedly a high quality financial services provider possessing the urge to be the best at all times whilst adding value to all stakeholders. It has over the years been a recipient of several awards for superior financial performance, customer service delivery, excellent share performance, management efficiency among others.
The Governor recalled that a little over three years ago, there were five commercial banks operating in the country, four of which were under some form of forbearance with the CBL.
He stated that that the Minimum Capital requirement was US$2 million, and many were below this requirement.
The CBL Governor said “banks have been recapitalized, substantially above the minimum of US$2 million that was then required” and there are now 8 commercial banks operating in the country, and this should increase to 9 somewhere by the middle of this year.
He said the CBL’s robust supervision exercise is helping to produce improved risk management and corporate governance, adding, “we have not just talked about micro financing, we have worked to bring about a bank that is focused on microfinance—Access Bank Liberia-The Microfinance Bank—and, more recently, there is BRAC Liberia Microfinance Company Limited, a non-bank financial institution, that is beginning operations capitalized at over US$4 million.”
He stated that the swell in commercials bank in the country has increased that of employment in the banking sector with many Liberian in top management that foreigners.
He said based on research as of March, non-Liberians in managerial positions totaled 19 compared with 75 Liberians, disclosing that there were 883 Liberians in lower positions compared with 10 non Liberians.
The global financial crisis, he said, has brought to the fore the importance of financial stability as an indispensable factor for economic growth and development and vowed that the CBL will do whatever is necessary to ensure the stability and integrity of the banking system in Liberia.
“We will stand firm against money laundering—no compromise on that; we will work with relevant authorities to put in place the appropriate legal provisions to deal with potential gaps in the New Financial Institutions Act to strengthen the authority of the CBL to resolve matters involving problem banks in a timely manner,” he asserted.
He said “the commencement of operations in Liberia may be a small step for Guaranty Trust, but with the initial capitalization of US$10 million—a target that we have set for the industry by end 2010—this represents a giant step for the banking industry in Liberia.” D K Sengbeh writes; contact: 231 6 586 531; email@example.com.