Five days after commercial banks began to release new banknotes distributed by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) to the general public, the Liberia Bankers Association (LBA) has also released the names of 4,651 individuals who have persistently refused to settle their loans from the six commercial banks in the country.
The LBA released two separate lists, with 3,715 owing substantial sums of money, from as low as US261.54 to as high as US$9,000.
The second list has 936 creditors who owe thousands in Liberian dollars, from as low as L$5,042.50 to as high as L$48,399.85.
The affected commercial banks are Liberia Bank for Investment and Development (LBDI), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Ecobank, Access Bank, Global Bank and International Bank Liberia Limited.
The LBA said it is aware that some bank debtors in the country act with impunity when borrowing from banks and refuse to pay, even when they have the ability to repay.
“These bank debtors use various legal loopholes that enable them to frustrate the loan collection system of banks and to help correct this situation, the Legislature recently enacted the Commercial Code as well as the establishment of a Commercial Court to fast-track the enforceability of financial contracts,” the LBA said.
As a sequel to the passage of this Legislation, the LBA said, “it reserves the right to implement a system that shall allow for ‘naming and shaming’ of repeat offenders or those who act with impunity in refusing to repay their bank debts.”
It said the names of such defaulters may be published several times in all major newspapers to inform the general public of the LBA’s intent to reserve the right to name and shame chronic/repeat loan defaulters if said defaulters fail to contact their banks to work out an arrangement for settlement of their obligations within 30 days of this publication.
“The publication may last for as long as may be deemed necessary by the Association.
The LBA has the full support of the CBL in this exercise as a means of strengthening the Liberian banking system and improving the credit environment in the country,” the LBA said.
The LBA statement said it seeks the cooperation of the business community and the public as it undertakes this exercise in the interest of preserving and strengthening the banking system.
“The LBA further calls upon all bank defaulters to contact their banks to work out an arrangement for settlement of their obligations and thus avoid any embarrassment,” it said.