Can someone please tell me what the reason is for the sudden proliferation of Banks in Sierra Leone?
I have noted with increasing concern that within the past year several new Banks have been granted licences to operate in Sierra Leone (or shall I say, in Freetown.)
Having due regard to the recent crashes of some of the biggest financial Institutions in The USA and Britain, (such as Lehman Brothers, Northern Rock, Halifax Bank of Scotland, etc. and over the past two (2) days the major Banks in Iceland,) ought we in a tiny country like Sierra Leone not to be very cautious about the way we encourage the setting up of new Banks every other day?
Does Sierra Leone really have the market to cope with all these new Banks?
And why do we not learn from the mistakes of others, and even from our own mistakes?
As I write this the Prime Minister of Britain has just threatened to freeze the assets of the Government of Iceland and to take legal action against them to recover the monies due and owing to British customers of the failed Icelandic Banks, running into billions of pounds.
As I listened to the media coverage of the current disastrous financial and economic mess in which those on whom we depend now find themselves, it was said repeatedly that one of the causes of the current worldwide recession has been ‘POOR REGULATORY PROCEDURES AND LAX FISCAL DISCIPLINE”.
Only now after disaster has struck, are the various Governments including those in the UK and USA scrambling around to put tougher regulatory procedures in place, and using taxpayers’ money to bail out the failed financial Institutions.
Is there a lesson there for poor countries like Sierra Leone to learn?
I say less Banks, not more! Sierra Leoneans Beware!
By J. B. Jenkins-Johnston