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Makeni: President Bio calls for more rural banking

15 February 2021 at 16:10 | 729 views

His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has told the opening of the Union Trust Bank, UTB, branch in Makeni last Friday that he is proud of the only indigenous private bank in Sierra Leone promoting more access to services in the rural areas.

“No doubt, its customer-focused banking products have helped deepen financial inclusion among citizens who live and do business in rural communities. But beyond this, my Government believes that we can gain a lot as a nation if we promote a savings and investment culture among citizens. The days of ‘earn and spend’ are gone. Banks can therefore work with Government to foster that savings and investment culture,” he said noted.

President Bio emphasised that the government expected that banks would be able to make available low cost credit to credit-worthy Sierra Leoneans who had proven investment ideas, adding that they had undertaken various efforts to promote financial inclusion in the country, including creating a digital biometric registration for citizens wishing to open bank accounts.

“I am informed that Union Trust Bank Limited is a client institution for both the African Development Bank Group and the Islamic Development Bank Group. It is also the first Western Union Money Transfer agent in Sierra Leone with agencies in all districts. This international reach and the diversified financial services portfolio is also very helpful.

“I am informed that Union Trust Bank did not experience a cash shortage during the two weeks of the Christmas period. I want to encourage Union Trust Bank, as well as other players in the sector, to adopt liquidity management practices that assure that depositors can access their money in banks as and when they need it.

“Let me conclude by stating that I am proud that Union Trust Bank Limited is the only indigenous private bank in Sierra Leone. It clearly demonstrates the capacity of Sierra Leoneans to develop a corporate culture and compete actively in the banking sector. The establishment of several brick-and-mortar branches all over Sierra Leone demonstrates that the bank is visibly re-investing its profits in Sierra Leone,” he said.

Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said since its establishment in 1995 the bank continued to make significant gains in the financial sector, adding that its management was really committed to creating wealth and contributing to the socio-economic wellbeing of the people of Sierra Leone.

Chief Executive Officer of UTB, Dr Sanpha Koroma, expressed gratitude to President Bio for gracing the event, noting that he was pleased to host him in that part of the country.

Photo: President Bio (right) and Dr. James Sanpha Koroma, CEO of Union Trust Bank.

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