At this time in 2013, the total assets position of the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment was at about US$159 million. But the Bank’s assets have grown to over US$220 million, or 38 percent in 2014, thanks to the strong and rigorous risk management regulation put in place by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the sound management by the Board of Directors and staff of the Bank.
Despite the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in Liberia, which brought about off-budget expenses on the Bank, Management has declared how it was able to leverage strong liquidity, even though profitability, to a larger extent, was foregone in many cases for liquidity due to the high risks factors. This is a mammoth task for a banking institution that has huge overhead obligation to maintain over 15 branches and manage hundreds of employees and contractors. In December, 2013, the Bank’s equity position stood at US$12.5 million.
But equity has grown by more than 115 per cent, from US$12.5 million in 2013 to US$27 million in 2014.
“This strong position shows that LBDI continues to maintain its market share despite the Ebola crisis,” said LBDI president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. John B. S. Davies, III at the bank’s 49th Anniversary held recently in Monrovia.
Mr. Davies commended the entire Bank’s staff, particularly, 14 employees who were honored and certificated for their dedication and long service for the Bank.
Mr. Davies along with eight other LBDI staffers, including Mr. William Jackson, Olivia Davies, Kou Giddings, Eugene McClain, Fatu Effiong, Onike Bedell, Reginald Goll and Aaron Kollie. Three staff, including Madam Doretha Yarsiah, Frances Williams and Mr. Akwenah Nyeamene was also honored for ten and fifteen years respectively, given their services with LBDI.
The longest service award was given to the LBDI vice president for Buchanan Branch, Mr. Clarence W. Bai, who has served the Bank for 25 years. The 20 years of service award was awarded to Mr. Samuel Gborzoe. The LBDI CEO has commended the honorees and the entire staffers of the Bank for their dedication and commitment in working towards the growth and development of LBDI.
A former Comptroller General of Liberia, Mr. Davies noted the strong liquidity position of LBDI and attributed the gain directly to the leadership and professional roles of all of the employees. “We at LBDI are blessed with employees of great quality,” said Mr. Davies.
He encouraged the employees to keep up the excellent performance, assuring them of a better LBDI during the post-Ebola crisis. He also thanked the Bank’s customers to maintain their trust in LBDI.
Speaking on behalf of the honorees, LBDI’s longest serving honoree and vice president for Buchanan Branch, Mr. Clarence W. Bai, thanked the Management for the recognition and pledged the honorees’ commitment to remaining dedicated to the bank and serving the Liberian people through LBDI.
“I must be very frank…serving a bank like LBDI for 25 years is not easy,” said Mr. Bai as he commended the Management for celebrating the 49th Anniversary of LBDI.
Mr. Bai used the occasion to appeal to the Management to conduct regular training for all employees, including the vice presidents for all branches. Mr. Bai also called for salary increment for employees, noting that it would further motivate employees to go the extra mile in serving and protecting the bank.
Earlier, LBDI Board Chair and Minister of Finance and Development Planning Amara M. Konneh congratulated the Management and staff of LBDI for strongly holding the bank together during this Ebola crisis.
Chairman Konneh wondered how the economy would have been without the strong liquidity position of LBDI, praising it for its ethical style of banking. “I would have been in hell fire had LBDI not been so strong and this Bank is strong because of you—the staff and the Management including our committed customers,” said Mr. Konneh.
LBDI is predominantly a privately owned institution under private management and a Board of Directors elected annually by its Shareholders. The Bank commenced operations in 1965 as Liberian Bank for Industrial Development and Investment. Under an amendment in 1974, the name was changed to the Liberian Bank for Development & Investment (LBDI). A further amendment in 1988 allowed the Bank to engage in commercial banking activities, to compliment its development objectives.
The Bank was actually created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1961 under the joint initiative of the Liberian government and major international financial institutions that purchased equity, namely: International Financial Corporation (IFC), Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Capital Partners, European Investment Bank (EIB), Groupe Agence Franicais de Development (GAFD), and Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungesllchaft (DEG). Over 150 private Liberians and other international and local institutions have equity in the Bank. Foreign shareholding is 44.47% and local shareholding is 55.53%.