The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of FIBank, Dr. Hasiatu Jalloh, has said the bank is committed to increasing and improving products that will make the bank bigger and better.
Dr. Jalloh said the Bank’s premium products like, Special Savings Account, Pikin Savings, Foreign Account, Fulfilment Account, Salary Loan Scheme, Target Savings Account, Asset Acquisition Loan (Scheme), were given additional impetus in 2016. “They are continually being improved upon in order to make our service delivery efficient and customer-friendly.”
She averred that as part of the bank’s commitment and effort to protect their customers’ Savings and Foreign Currency accounts against fraudsters and impersonators, a biometric authentication system has been implemented.
“The biometric fingerprint scanning system is a method of identifying and authenticating a person’s fingerprint features. No two individuals have similar fingerprints. Criminally-minded people could forge someone’s signature but they can never forge a person’s fingerprint. In this regard, I am proud to say that FiBank Sierra Leone has taken the lead in the sector.”
She said even with all the improvements, in mid-2016, a correspondent banking relationship challenge was faced. This universal problem she said saw the cessation by their UK correspondent banks in doing transactions denominated in US Dollars, especially third party transactions because of KYC regulations in the United States of America.
“This led to a difficult scenario for our customers as the US Dollar is the traded currency for international finance. I am proud to say that the Bank recently concluded discussions with a top correspondent bank in London that will commence the processing of US Dollar related transactions.”
The CEO reiterated that this highlighted challenge of correspondence bank downturn that should spur West African leaders, which will spearhead their respective Central Banks, to strategize and establish Correspondent Banks in Europe and America, to represent the sub region.
The decision makers should also facilitate the establishment of a single currency, to facilitate trade within members, she continued.
Talking about the strategic partnership of the banking industry, Dr Hasiatu Jalloh said the Bank’s relationship/partnership with African Export and Import Bank (AFREXIM Bank), in Cairo, Egypt, has been rewarding.
“This bank granted FiBank Sierra Leone a Line of Credit/Trade Finance totaling $8 million USD, against Western Union Money transfer receivables in the recent past. In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, AFREXIM Bank awarded FiBank Sierra Leone with a prestigious ‘Silver Jubilee Award’, during their 20th Anniversary celebrations. In their words, this was “In recognition of the exceptional contributions towards the promotion and financing of African Trade”.
AFREXIM Bank and FiBank Sierra Leone the CEO said are also currently negotiating a Line of Credit to further strengthen trade finance operations. This she said shows that their Bank’s strength in financial intermediation.
“We have been strategically engaged in granting facility requests to fund start-ups and giving facilities to our numerous trading customers and grass root traders, through our famous Osusu Loan Scheme. This is a micro credit loan facility granted to homogenous trading groups with no submission of tangible collateral. The emphasis is on joint and several liabilities of its members. We could today proudly easily point to good examples of customers that are well established in their business, as a result of our strategic alliance and partnership. “
Friday February 10, 2017