CBL, Senate and House Banking Committees Hang Heads

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CBL Governor Milton A. Weeks

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) and the House of Representatives and Senate standing committees on Banking and Currency, have agreed to collaborate to promote the development and security of the financial services sector of the country, a release from the CBL has said. The institutions said it is in the interest of all for an open line of communication between the CBL and the Committees for the common good of the country and its people. The commitments were made in Monrovia, during recent comprehensive meetings between executives of the CBL and the Senate and House’s Standing Committees on Banking and Currency.

The parties, among other issues, discussed the continuing depreciation of the Liberian Dollar and its impact on the purchasing power of citizens and efforts by the CBL to intervene in the foreign exchange market to help smoothen the volatility. Discussions also centered on the country’s dual currency regime and its impact on the economy as well as ongoing efforts by the CBL to withdraw from the banking system mutilated Liberian Dollar banknotes. Discussions also focused on the challenges facing the Insurance Sector of the country; the establishment of a Banking Institute of Liberia as well as security concerns in the financial sector.

During the meeting, the Executive Governor of the CBL, Milton A. Weeks, welcomed the interaction between executives of the bank and the lawmakers. The Governor assured members of the Committees of his commitment to collaborate and cooperate in a spirit of transparency and fairness in promoting the objectives of the bank. Governor Weeks noted that the Committees’ willingness to meet with the CBL to discuss pertinent issues affecting the sector demonstrate the lawmakers’ desire for constructive engagement and positive impact on the Liberian people. The CBL Governor expressed thanks that both Committees would remain open for ongoing discussions as the bank seeks to implement policies that would benefit the government and its people, thereby promoting the pro-poor agenda of the government.

The Chairman of the House Committee, Montserrado District # 16 Representative Dixon Sebo, and the Senate’s Committee Chairman, Grand Gedeh County Senator Marshall Dennis, in separate responses assured the CBL that the Committees would remain engaged in discussing the programs and status of the bank. His Committee’s role, Representative Sebo said, is to work closely with the CBL to improve the financial sector. For his part, Senator Dennis welcomed the engagement and noted that such interaction would help inform lawmakers about developments at the CBL and within the financial services sector of the country, thereby cutting back on the need for continuous summons of CBL executives at the legislature.

The respective meetings were attended by the members of the House Committee on Banking and Currency, namely, Hon Ben A. Fofana, Hon Joseph P. Kolleh, Hon Richard N. Koon, Hon Ivar K. Jones, Hon Mathew G. Zarzar, Hon Hanson S. Kiazolu (Co-Chair) and Hon Dixon W. Sebo (Chair). The Senate Committee on Banking and Currency was represented by its Chairman, Grand Gedeh County Senator Marshall Dennis; Maryland County Senator Gblebo Brown; Bong County Senator Henry Yallah; Grand Gedeh Senator Alphonso Gaye; and Sinoe County Senator J. Milton Teahjay. The sides have agreed to meet at least quarterly to discuss pertinent issues facing the financial sector. The meetings were also attended by the Deputy Governor for Economic Policy at the CBL, Dr. Mounir Siaplay and the Directors of Regulation & Supervision; Research, Policy & Planning; Finance; Legal; Banking, Payment Systems, Financial Markets and the Financial Sector Development Unit of CBL.

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