Detailed information about Sierra Leone’s Development Partners
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Directory of our NGO’s and Civil Society Groups
DEBT AND MONEY
Dealing with money issues can sometimes be off-putting, but if you don’t understand how things like financial services and the economy, you could end up losing out financially or getting yourself deep in debt. The following pages will give you the information you need to make the right choices, including help to deal with your debt problems, how to avoid losses and how to get your finances back into shape.
Sierra Leone is at a very low level of financial development. It is a country of seven plus million people, with a per capita annual income of hundreds of millions of dollars. Sierra Leone currently has thirteen commercial banks, nine community banks, nine insurance companies, three housing finance companies that are non-deposit-taking, two savings and loans, the Finance and Trust Corporation, two discount houses, some forty-two foreign exchange bureaus, and six microfinance institutions, which are also non-deposit-taking. Total bank assets at the end of 2010 were equivalent to US$582 million. The Bank of Sierra Leone further lists the National Social Security and Insurance Trust and the Sierra Leone State Lottery as non-bank financial institutions. A national stock market was launched on 18 July 2009. Sierra Leone has a fairly liberalized financial system. Interest rates and exchange rates are market-determined, there are no selective credit controls, and, despite the fact that the largest commercial bank is state-owned, the activities of the banking system are not government-dominated. However, there are cash and liquidity requirements that banks have to follow, constraining the structure of banks’ asset portfolios somewhat.
What is a Micro Finance?
A micro finance is a narrow concept which includes the various services like micro credit, micro savings, micro insurance and many more schemes.
The purpose of micro finance is to help the small section of a society like low-income level people or a below poverty line who are not able to serve their needs just because of unavailability fund.
Those who are not able to take a financial help by the conventional way of putting a security as a guarantee.
A micro finance helps people to start their own business by proving finance with a low rate of interest and help to make them independent.
What are priority and non-priority debts?
Priority debts include:
House rent arrears
Electricity (EDSA) arrears
City Council rates/tax arrears
Domestic bills arrears
They’re called priority debts because the consequences of not paying them can be more serious than for other debts.
Non-priority debts are less urgent and include things like bank loans, micro -finance and social clubs payments etc.