New Democrat (Monrovia)

15 August 2013

Liberia: Banking Institute Eyed

In an effort to enhance the human resource capacity of banking outlets, authorities at the Liberia Banking Association say it would shortly establish a National Banking Institute in Liberia.

The institute, when established would train and certificate employees of banking institutions to help improve the nation's economy, LBA official said yesterday.

The disclosure was contained in a statement made Tuesday by the head of LBA's Secretariat Mr. Milton Weeks during the opening of a four-day credit training forum for bankers in Liberia.

The event is being organized by the Liberia Investing for Business Expansion (IBEX) Program and implemented by the International Executive Service Corps (IESC) through the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) on behalf of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Mr. Weeks said come the end of this month, LBA would begin the implementation process, noting that LBA remains critical to the capacity building of banking institutions. He said currently, his institution was working closely with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) as well as other banking institutions to ensure that said institute comes to reality. Meanwhile, according to Madam Watchen Bruce, Chief of Party, Liberia IESC/IBEX, the objective of the forum is to help bankers understand issues of credit analysis, loan request methods, screening of loan application and understating strong portfolio management system.

The forum is intended to reinforce and expand the professional skills of bankers and loan officers and provide a comprehensive understanding of the credit process, analysis process, and loan review among others. IESC/IBEX which has a program span of four years in Liberia said it hopes to ensure viability in the agribusiness and renewable energy sectors and further attract banks, investors and other nonbank financial institutions for the Liberian economy. For his part, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) County Director Mr. John Mark Winfield said there can be no investment in Liberia without the direct involving of the private sector. He pledged USAID's support to Liberia's development drive and called for more collaborations between all institutions concern.

Participants at the four-day event were drawn from the eight banking outlets in Liberia with the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) serving as Chief Regulator.

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