SIBLL In Full Compliance With CBL Regulation -Commits To Keep Customers’ Trust

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An in-depth independent investigation conducted by this paper has revealed that Sapelle International Bank Liberia Limited (SIBLL), is fully capitalized in consonance with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) regulations and as well viable in maintaining its customers and the public trust. A few days ago, some media outlets in their reportage disclosed that the bank has gone bankrupt and has failed to meet the satisfaction of its customers, thus suggesting non-compliance with the CBL regulations for all banking institutions across the country. Following said report, an investigation conducted by this paper surrounding the allegations to establish as to whether or not the bank is truly liquidated, and that customers’ demands are not being met as well as its non-compliance with the CBL, revealed the contrary. Our investigation unearthed that there is no record or incident of customers walking into the SIBLL, formerly GN Bank Liberia Limited and not been paid on demand or customers having difficulties in making withdrawals contrary to the report.  Accordingly, GN Bank, now SIBLL was given a license to operate a commercial bank in Liberia in 2016, at the time of the acquisition of the license, First International Bank Liberia Limited (FIBLL), now defunct, was in the process of bankruptcy.  To prevent the damage to the entire banking industry from the collapse of FIBLL and its negative implication for all other banks, the Central Bank of Liberia entered into an arrangement with SIB Liberia Limited to take a significant portion of the assets and liabilities of the defunct banking institution. Accordingly, this arrangement was to protect the reliability of the Liberian banking sector, while transaction between SIB and the CBL remain in tight by maintaining the nation’s confidence in the financial industry, thus preventing an outright collapse of the former bank, which would have caused significant damage to the country’s financial industry. At the same time, the documents quote that SIBLL through that arrangement inherited or took over a legacy deposit of US$23.2 million.

It futher that this liability, if FIBLL had been allowed to be fully liquidated, would have been a debt to be paid by the Liberian Government and the Central Bank of Liberia. It was also gathered that SIBLL has paid so far US$14.9 million to the legacy depositors of FIBLL from 2016 up to the end of December 2023. By this effort, SIB saved key depositors such as the National Social Security and Welfare Cooperation (NASSCORP), National Port Authority (NPA), National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA), Weasua Transport, among others from losing their deposits. The report also revealed that the recent intervention made by the Central Bank of Liberia by paying US$8 million to SIBLL, was intended to reduce the burden on the bank of the payment of US$14.9 million which was made to the legacy depositors of the defunct FIBLL by SIBLL. Our source within the confines of the SIBLL emphasized that the payment was not a stabilization fund, nor a payment made to prevent the bank from failing or going under. “The payment represents a reimbursement of portions of payment SIBLL made for and on behalf of the government and the Central Bank of Liberia to the legacy depositors of the defunct First international Bank Liberia Limited,” a highly placed source within the CBL said. The report also gathered that SIBLL has recently upgraded its core banking application system with the aim of improving its digital and electronic banking offerings, and as well make banking convenient to the Liberian people. SIBLL, which is being consider as one of the best and fastest growing banking institutions in the country considering its staff of 157 employees, is currently operating in 17 locations in Liberia. “It is expected that SIB would continue to be in Liberia for a lifetime and would continue to introduce innovative products and services to serve the people of Liberia,” a source within the bank told this paper. At the same time, many of the customers who begged not to be named, expressed disappointment in those media institutions for what they termed as an unsubstantiated publication. “This negative publication about the SIBLL is propaganda and the reason behind their actions remains unknown. Some of us who have been doing business with this bank have never and are not experiencing anything of such mentioned in their publication,” a customer said. Also, other impeccable contacts we spoke to l expressed shock over the information contained in the publication which claimed that the SIBLL has not been in compliance with the Central Bank of Liberia. “What is baffling some of us is to be alarmed that the bank has not been in compliance with the CBL’s regulations. That is untrue. We are under obligation to protect the fiscal space of this country and the citizens as such we don’t cannot do a cover up for whatever commercial bank, including the SIBLL but the fact remains that the SIBLL is in full compliance with our regulations and policies,” the CBL sources told this paper.

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