Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – In a noteworthy move, the Central Bank, overseeing all banking and financial institutions, has mandated the opening of all commercial banks and financial entities to the public on Saturday, December 30th, 2023. This directive comes through a public notice issued on Friday, December 29th, 2023, with the aim of providing an additional day of banking services during the holiday period.
While the official reason cited in the notice is to extend banking services over the holiday season, keen observers speculate a connection to the impending phasing out of the old Leone notes, scheduled to take effect on Sunday, December 31st.
It is anticipated that this extra day of banking has been facilitated to accommodate individuals needing to exchange the old Leone notes in their possession. After Sunday, these notes will cease to be legal tender, rendering them unusable for any transaction.
This directive is part of the broader initiative to transition to a new currency, and the Central Bank’s decision to open on Saturday underscores the importance of facilitating a smooth and efficient process for the public during this currency transition period. The banking community is poised to play a pivotal role in aiding individuals in exchanging their old currency notes before they lose legal tender status on the impending deadline. KXL/30/12/2023