One of Sierra Leone’s leading commercial banks, Rokel Commercial Bank, has announced another major loss for the second straight year, raising concern among its shareholders.
The management of the partially privatised bank said Thursday it had incurred over Le22 billion ($4.4m) in losses before tax for the year 2014.
The bank blamed the situation on bad loans and problems with its asset management, all of it in the face of stiff competition from foreign banks.
Mr Kebbe Ahmed Koroma, chairman of the Oversight Committee which serves as the board of the bank, also blamed “internal mismanagement” for the situation.
Ebola is also partly to be blamed, he added.
This is the second major loss for Rokel, which is owned partly by the Sierra Leone government with a 51 percent share.
In 2013 the bank made an even bigger loss of over Le 100 billion ($20M).
Rokel is one of 13 commercial banks in Sierra Leone, only about three of which are locally owned.
Most are owned by Nigerians.
Shareholders of the bank have expressed concern and called on the government to intervene.
However, Mr Koroma has assured them of the possibility for a turnaround, but not without “dramatic and radical intervention”.
He also said a 9 percent increase in savings demonstrates confidence by the public in the bank.
“We believe that 2016 going forward this bank is going to make inroads” he predicted optimistically.