The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has introduced a new financial regulations act intended to govern Microfinance institutions including credit unions in the country. The act comprises licensing and operations of unions.
At a two-day workshop organized by the CBL, El-Tumu Trueh, Director of Microfinance, said the introduction of the new financial regulations act is aimed at helping microfinance institutions understand the smooth operations of the entity.
He said the regulations, which have been developed by the CBL, are particularly restricted for primary Credit Unions operating in Liberia.
These primary credit unions are member-based institutions engaged in savings mobilization and credit extension to rural Liberians.
“These new regulations will help other local institutions to understand and how to operate a credit union as an institution,” he said, noting that the act is part of the CBL 1999 financial law but has just been introduced to local credit union institutions.
Mr. Trueh mentioned that as part of his job at the CBL, he is responsible to advance the financial inclusion agenda of bank consistent with the Government of Liberia’s overall strategy for financial inclusion based on its National Strategy for Financial Inclusion.
So, “introducing these new financial regulations will enhance the delivery of financial services, particularly to rural Liberia, integrating the informal sector of the economy into the formal sector, and improving access to finance for Liberians.”
The unit, as the outreach arm of the Central Bank of Liberia, works with microfinance institutions, credit unions, village savings and loan associations and a host of mass-based grass root organizations, he said.
The unit’s focus remains to achieve the long term goals of creating a financially inclusive society with sound institutions and a diversity of products and services.
Also speaking, the Board chair of the Liberia Credit Union National Association, J. Saye Biye, thanked the CBL for their farsightedness in conducting the workshop for primary credit unions.
Mr. Biyie said the workshop came as dream, where every credit union institution’s head wished to share their knowledge on the smooth running of successful credit unions.
He said the workshop will help them understand their role and responsibility to their regulators, which will help strengthen the economy of Liberia.
Mr. Patrick Muriki, head of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) in Liberia, called on members of the credit unions to make use of the new regulations introduced by the CBL.
He said, if the new regulation were used by primary credit unions in the country, it would help them in the smooth operations of their activities. He therefore urged members of the union to make it their business to put the regulations to use.