Investigation mounted by The Times on the operations of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has unearth some financial mess that could likely lead to the collapse of the Bank if urgent action is not taken to address its current status.
The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank was founded in the 1970s to serve large corporations, small and medium enterprises, and individual customers. It is managed by indigenous Sierra Leoneans. SLCB was set up to be in operation as the country’s first fully indigenous bank with mandate to be run and managed as a private enterprise completely free from any control by the Government.
The Times has learnt that the purpose for which the bank was established is becoming something else as the Government of the day seems to be taking due advantage of situation at the detriment of poor tax payers and customers whose savings are at stake.
Findings by The Times revealed that billions of Leones given to politicians as overdrafts for the past years are yet to be serviced but that the bank continues to release additional monies without going through stringent procedures forgetting that those are customers’ monies.
It was understood that about fourteen Government Ministers, under the leadership of the APC led Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma, owe the bank billions of Leones as overdrafts that have not been serviced.
SLCB being the bank of choice for a number of foreign enterprises, including international companies, various United Nations agencies, International Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Embassies, among many others will soon collapse if urgent action is not taken to overhaul the system.
The Central Bank, which is the supervisory body, has kept sealed lips watching things going wrong without any measures put in place to address the current financial mess that could soon lead to the bank’s closure as it happened in the case of the International Bank for Trade and Industry.
SLCB Corporate Affairs Officer, Shuaib Kamara, confirmed that the bank do have debtors maintaining that some of them could be political debtors.
‘’The bank would not want you to publish the news, ‘’ Kamara said adding that even though the bank might have political debtors that does not necessarily mean they would not pay . “Even if this Government is not in power they would still pay,” he continued. He furthered that the Management of the bank will not be comfortable to see such story been published.
Central Bank Public Relations Officer, Bresford Taylor, declined commenting on the issue.
See more details in our subsequent editions as the Times SL will make public names of Ministers, Deputies and Parliamentarians who still owe the bank billions of Leones.
Source: The Times SL