By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The Sierra Leone Commercial Bank has celebrated its 50th years of excellent performance in the banking sector. The anniversary celebration was pegged on the theme ‘Fifty years together: moving to a prosperous future.
The celebration was organized and held at the on Saturday January 14th at the Bank’s Headquarters, Car Park on George Street in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The Bank was celebrating its 50th Anniversary as the largest profitable Commercial Bank that can boast of thousands of active customers nationwide.
The Deputy Finance Minister II, Bockarie Kalokoh on Saturday, 14th January, launched Sierra Leone’s leading financial institution, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) 50th Anniversary Celebration at the Bank’s Headquarters Car Park on George Street in Freetown.
In his keynote speech, the Deputy Finance Minister 2, Bockarie Kalokoh congratulated the Board, Management and Staff of SLCB for their incredible effort, adding that they have demonstrated the strength, notably, in the sector of capitalization.
He emphasized that the Bank has indeed maintained the leadership of financial services in the country despite competition from foreign commercial banks.
The Deputy Minister of Finance said the landmark celebration was an opportune time to renew pledge and strength of the Bank.
Minister Kalokoh stressed that SLCB must therefore continue to play a leading role in nation building in the future as had been in the past, noting that it must commit itself to build the key player in the inclusive financial system to stimulate economic growth.
He urged the Bank to provide the financial literacy to its esteem customers, access to credit in order to contribute to the growth of their businesses, noting that the Bank must also exploit the imminent introduction of the national switch and continue to leverage internal technologies to increase customer access to existing and new products.
The Deputy Minister disclosed that the environment in which SLCB operates is anchored on nine principles including Liquidity, Profitability, Loan and Investment, Savings, Service, Secrecy and Efficiency. He therefore admonished the Staff of the Bank to maximize the potential in the next fifty years.
Speaking during the event, Yusuf Abdul Sillah, Managing Director, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank said the theme of the celebration was to help reflect the achievement of the bank in the past fifty years and to have the courage to reset their thinking and strategies to meet the challenges of the future that lies ahead.
“Our history of banking is very much intertwined with that of the history and character of the country and its people which is marked by moment of darkness, moment of life but our resilience as a country and a people has kept this Bank moving against all odds and hence making it possible for us to be witnessing this occasion,” he said.
He highlighted the bank’s successes, expressing satisfaction that there has been massive service delivery over the years. The Bank, he said also doubled staff strength whilst the customer base kept galloping.
He congratulated staff for underpinning the bank’s phenomenal performance, urging them to imbibe the spirit of a lion in order to maintain the leadership of the financial services of the country.
“The 50th celebrations will be marked by series of activities including, golf and soccer competitions, raffle draw, Directors’ cocktail, and more products to be launched to celebrate the success story of the bank,” he concluded.
Ms Shola Taylor-Pearce, Executive Secretary and Head of Secretariat, Sierra Leone Association of Commercial Bank, pays kudos to the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) for being the first indigenous bank that first hit the trillion Leone park in assets, the Bank with the largest network of branches and kiosks in the country and the Bank that is leading internet banking among others.
She said as the people’s Bank that have achieved a lot in the past 50 years, SLCB should now focus on what will bring about a more prosperous future. “your next year, your next 5 years your next 20 years, 50 years shall be a reflection of your belief and attitude therefore your attitude I employ you to keep your eyes on your logo (lion, king of the jungle) and shape your belief and attitude by it,” she stated.
She told the management of the bank that can-do and no-excuse attitude would take it to higher heights and yield a greater dividends, adding that an attitude that takes ownership and responsibility for one’s actions, shall reduce loses.
She further encouraged SLCB to inculcate an attitude that desires to leave the bank stronger, more resilient and better than it was found would result in greater profitability.