Headman of the Adonkia Community, Jeffry L. Kargbo, has yesterday referred to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank's (SLCB) newly installed 'Mi Yone SLCB Teller and Kiosk' digital products as welcome development for the area and one that would contribute to the economic growth of residents.
He promised to provide full protection for the two new products, stating that the security of the Mi Yone SLCB Teller' and 'Mi Yone SLCB Kiosk' was paramount for the economic development of the area.
He made the above statement yesterday during the launch of the two digital banking products established by the SLCB.
He expressed thanks to the bank for choosing the Adonkia community, stating that the products will offer banking services not only to the people of the community, but also outsiders.
"We appreciate this venture as the people were in haste to get the services operated in their community. The people of Adonkia appreciate this opportunity so much that they would protect the products for the benefit of all," he said.
The headman further noted that they have never accessed such an opportunity in the area and urged that a permanent structure be constructed for them in the near future.
Managing Director of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, Idrissa Alooma Kamara, said for so long now, people have had limited access to formal banking services and that only 1 out of every five Sierra Leoneans has a bank account.
He said the financial exclusion rate of 80% was an unacceptable state of affairs for the development of the banking sector and the nation, adding that the digital world was becoming increasingly sophisticated.
The MD further said the outlets would be available at Adonkia, Wilberforce, Lungi, Freetown Teachers College, Jui Junction, adding that plans were underway for similar outlets to be installed in Bo, Kenema and Makeni
"We are taking banking to you. Mi Yone SLCB Teller is your personal banking. It is reliable and that we are leading the digital banking age as we are planning to open 250,000 new accounts countrywide by targeting non-account holders. We are also appealing to existing customers to update their accounts with the bank by providing current mobile number, email and other information," he said.
He called on the community to provide security for the Mi Yone SLCB facilities and ensure their sustainability.
Bank Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr. Patrick Conteh, said the exclusion rate in the banking sector was appalling; hence mobile digital banking should be promoted in the country.
Dr. Conteh thanked SLCB for the laudable venture in providing digital banking in Sierra Leone, noting that in the financial landscape in the country, there were 86 out of the 191 chiefdoms with financial services.
He also urged commercial banks to create financial access points not only in Freetown but in other areas, stating that SLCB has taken a milestone in the banking eco system.
Deputy Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Patricia Lavaley, thanked the management and staff of SLCB for inviting the ministry to the official launch of their new products.
She said the launch was another significant milestone in the financial sector as Government would continue supporting the sector.
"The launch of the two new products is a clear manifestation by the bank's management to respond to the needs of customers in providing them with digital system," she said