Banking Institute Secures Partnerships to Ensure International Standards

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Bankers Institute of Liberia participants, managers and LBDI President, John B. S. Davies

In an effort to institutionalize banking education in Liberia and enhance networking and collaboration internationally, the Banking Institute of Liberia (BIL) has formed a partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers Nigeria (CIBN) and the Alliance of African Institutes of Bankers in Abuja, Nigeria, for the growth and development of the sector.

According to BIL’s Director-General, Richard Saywah Panton, the partnership will engender the administration of the Professional Banking Certification Examination for the first time in Liberia. The CIBN Certificate ascribes to holders sub-regional, continental and international recognition.

Speaking during the formal graduation exercises of level 2 first training cycle of 2020 of the Institute, held Friday, 27 November in Monrovia, Panton told the 65 participants who got certificated in various segments of the refresher program that the financial sector is grossly challenged and Liberia is no exception.

In 2019, the first batch of 4 candidates from the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) wrote the exam for Professional Banking Diploma Level I. Panton lauded LBDI for being the first Liberian participant to brave the storm and to have attempted the International Certification Examination.

He indicated that CIBN examinations are administered in April and October every year. “In this connection, the Banking Institute of Liberia conducts tutorials for the examination and will commence same in January 2021.”

He, therefore, admonished the graduates to use the skills acquired in mitigating the anomalies and thereby bringing sanity in the sector to regain the confidence and trust of clients, investors and the public.

Candidates were awarded short-term certificates related to competency-based courses in Systems and Controls, Banking Operations, Regulatory Framework and Compliance, Credit Analysis, Internal Audit and financial Reporting and Analysis.

Of the 65 participants, 20 were females (31 percent) while 45 were males (69 percent). Eleven (11) banking institutions, namely Access Bank which had 12 participants; Afriland Bank, 1; Central Bank of Liberia, 11; Ecobank, 1; Global Bank, 2; Guaranty Trust Bank, 11; International Bank, 7; Liberian Bank for Development and Investment, 10; SIBL, 5; and United Bank for Africa, 5; nominated participants.

This brings a total of 277 participants nominated from Central Bank of Liberia and Liberia Bankers Association’s member institutions and that of Diaconia.

Panton continued: “We admonish you to use the skills acquired in mitigating the anomalies and thereby bringing sanity in the sector to regain the confidence and trust of clients, investors and the general public.” He urged them to make the most of and build on what they have learned and shared. “Be proud ambassadors of BIL; our worth is judged by your performances at your various workplaces.”

However, in an effort to make BIL the premier institution in the banking and financial sector of the country, it is rolling out its Enterprises Programme in 2021. It should have begun in March of this year but was stalled because of COVID-19.

Emphasizing the importance of the program, Director Panton said BIL has Professional Certificate with courses admissible to first-degree holders.

“These are medium-term bank and management-related professional courses designed to respond primarily to staffers of the sector wishing to professionalize themselves and also address the knowledge requirement needs of people desiring entry into the sector,” the BIL director noted.

Meanwhile, Panton is calling on the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and heads of commercial banks to make training at the Institute a compulsory requirement for employment and upward mobility in the sector. He said this will elevate the Institute as well as increase its visibility in the industry, citing the CIBN, Kenya Institute of Banking and Financial Services, Bankers College of Ghana, Egyptian Banking Institute among others on the continent.

The Institute’s mandate is to build and enhance the capacity of entry, junior, senior and executive-level staff in the banking and financial sector; organize professional and academic certification courses in banking and finance and related fields; provide research and consulting services by performing studies of systems and procedures for the banking and financial sector, and collaborate with universities and other financial institutions of higher learning in Liberia and abroad to achieve its mandate.

BIL is a corporate training institute specialized in banking, financial management, and non-financial related disciplines in Liberia. Established in March 2014 by the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) and the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), the institute aims to provide capacity building and cutting-edge training support to stakeholders in the banking and other corporate and financial sectors. But it was not until April 2018, that the Institute became formally operational, following the appointment of its first Director-General, Richard Saywah Panton, Assistant Professor of Economics at the Ibrahim Banamasi Banbagida School of International Studies, University of Liberia.

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