In an internal memorandum dated 29th January, 2014 the Chairman of NCP (National Commission for Privatisation), Dr. Michael S. Kargbo informed President Ernest Bai Koroma that as at 30th November, 2013 Rokel Commercial Bank’s total exposed (loans and advances) was Le 323.37 Billion as against the Central Bank’s limit of Le300 Billion. Dr. Kargbo informed the President that NCP had to intervene swiftly and set up a robust “special debt recovery committee” to recover loans from creditors.
According to the NCP Chairman, Rokel Commercial Bank gave out unsecured loans totalling Le 103.68 Billion and Le 65.1 Billion of unsecured and non- performing or toxic loans.
He informed the President that because Rokel Commercial Bank breached the Banking Act 2011, it had to be severely penalised by the Central Bank by imposing a fine of Le 800 Billion.
As a result of the recklessness shown by the management of Rokel Commercial Bank, the payment of dividends to the Government of Sierra Leone to the tune of Le 2.7 Billion for 2011 to 2012 was deferred on the orders of the Central Bank.
Dr. Kargbo assured President Koroma that he would continue to monitor “the bank’s operations, especially recovering the excess loans and advances granted in order to improve the liquidity position of the bank and also pay the outstanding dividends for 2011 and 2012”.
In tomorrow’s edition, read how the Acting Managing Director, Michael A. Collier admitted that the bank’s profit projection is unachievable. And why some heavily indebted customers continued to overdraw their accounts even though they had inadequate security in the bank.