News Column

Banks Assure Liberians of Access to Finance

June 23, 2014

The credit house of Liberia, the nine banks operating under the laws of the country, have spoken with strong spirit of their commitment to provide an enabling atmosphere in which every eligible Liberian will have access to finance.

The sturdy will of pledge came on the launch of the Liberia Collateral Registry, a new initiative that brings confidence in the financial credit portfolio by the Central Bank of Liberia. Access to finance encourages economic activities and enlivens businesses, whether formal or informal. Liberia business industry is made of formal and informal businesses participated in by Liberians and foreigners partners. Bankers Association President John Davis of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) minced no words in recognizing the groundbreaking and praiseworthy efforts of the CBL and partners. As per the launch on Wednesday of the Collateral Registry, Liberia joined Ghana and other nations of the world that are accruing huge benefits from collateral registry process.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) which has partnered with nations to achieve this economically potent venture rated Ghana for banking US$14 billion in benefits.

Taping on the Ghanaian experience, he assured the gathering of banks' readiness to cooperate in making the initiative realizable.

"We are confident and hopeful that as banks, we will work with all financial and non-financial institutions to ensure that access to finance visits the door stairs of every eligible Liberian," declared Mr. Davis when he spoke on behalf of his colleagues at Wednesday launch of the initiative at the Monrovia City Hall.

Mr. Davis who praised the team that made the initiative a success, said it epitomizes secured lending, but also with responsible borrowing, noting also "we are aware of our responsibilities as major stakeholders, in giving access to finance, and ensuring that major opportunities are availed to our people.

As much as Ghana's successful show deserves attention, he said it should be done with caution because the Collateral Registry process is a two-way street, not a one-way.

"We would like to take cue that as we are called or as we may be requested to continuously affect access to finance, using the Collateral Registry, as a major tool in the context of our legal framework and judicial dispensation, we take cognizant of that it is not one way traffic, rather it two-way street," the Bankers President cautioned. In the same vain, the LBDI president said they are banks are also cognizant of the fiduciary responsibility imposed on them to ensure the safety of depositors' funds.

"So, we applaud the initiative, we want to register our unqualified assurance that we will work with all stakeholders to make this laudable effort is resounding success. But just as the representative of the Commercial Court indicated, at the end of the day, it boils down to responsible borrowing, and toward that end, we also appeal to our friends, well-wishers, brothers and sisters, that this initiative that is being launched today is used fully for the purpose intended and that some of the ugly indicators that we see with other situations don't come to visit our door stairs," the Bankers President said.

Indicating that the extenuating benefits of the initiative to country are too complex to ignore the challenges, he pledged that they will work with the CBL to operationalize the initiative, noting "We will work with you to ensure that the results are achieved; we will work with you to ensure that the every Liberian entrepreneur will benefit."

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Source: AllAfrica

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