By Alfred Koroma
To improve women access to finance, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, one of the leading banks in the country has on Saturday, 4th March 2023 launched Women’s Banking Account, aimed at supporting market women and petty traders to manage their financial lives with ease and confidence.
The flexible account which requires only a low initial deposit from customers, gives women opportunity to easily access loans from the bank with low-interest rates and confortable repayment tenure.
The product is different from any other product, Nasu Fofana who partnered with SLCB to establish the product, said while launching the account. “It has been designed by women for women.”
She expressed happiness that the product has been introduced at a time government has passed a landmark Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act which emphasizes women access to finance.
The Women’s Banking Account was launched along with another account named ‘Mi Yone Islamic/Hajj Account’ for individuals wanting to save for themselves, their spouses, and relatives that may want to perform the Holy pilgrimage in Saudi. No interest rate is charged on this account, the Bank says and customers can open the Islamic account with initial deposit of Le50 with no withdrawal allowed within the first six months of opening the account.
Making a statement at the launching of the accounts, Director of Business Development for SLCB, Moses Cumboh Sesay said the establishment of the accounts is part of Sierra Leone’s Commercial Bank’s long endeavor to expand its financial inclusion. Therefore, he said, the Bank deemed it necessary to go down to the market women so that they too could boast of a banking account and with a privileged to enjoy a loan facility with the bank.
For the Islamic Account, he furthered, the Bank has put together standards that will make the product standout from the normal accounts.
The event which started with a health walk by the staff of the bank is part of line up of events, celebrating the bank’s 50th Anniversary since its establishment in February 1973.