Since its inception in 1973, Sierra Leone Commercial Bank still remains the leader in financial services in the country. The Managing Director, Fidelis Turay, explains the reason
SLCB commemorated its 48th Anniversary recently, making it the oldest indigenous bank in Sierra Leone. As the country celebrates its 60th Independent Anniversary, how is the journey so far as it relates to banking activities in the country?
The world has increasingly become a global village with interconnectivity increasing at a phenomenal rate. The banking industry is not left out. Banks have moved away from predominantly manual processes with the introduction of digital transformation initiatives; which means that a customer can now open and operate an account with SLCB without being in Sierra Leone. There is a significant increase in number of banks in the country, which has led to increased competition. In this, the customer is the winner as banks vie to woo them and retain them. At SLCB, we tailor our products and services and payment platforms to our customers’ needs and this has ensured we attain a dominant position in the industry.
At SLCB, we continue to introduce digital financial initiatives to meet the market’s digital transformation appetite.
As the MD of the Bank, you have lifted the visibility and profitability of the Bank since you assumed office few years ago. Could you tell the reading public local and international, the magic wand behind these achievements?
Putting customers first is the magic wand. At the heart of our success is our drive to delight our customers with product and service offerings that would ensure that they continue banking with us and also recommend us to others. Through constant engagements and interactions we know what our customers want and need so we channel our efforts to ensure we deliver these.
Does SLCB intend to internationalize its banking operations to other West African countries, in line with ECOWAS trade liberalization policy?
At the moment the Bank is focused on sustaining its dominant position within Sierra Leone. As I noted earlier, we have invested heavily in our digital transformation activities and we continue to establish our physical presence in communities where opportunities to serve customers present themselves. This is what drives us. We will continue to look for such opportunities both within and outside Sierra Leone and maintain presence either physically or via digital means.
How do you see the immediate and foreseeable future of SLCB in the banking landscape of the country?
The Bank is equipped both now and in the foreseeable future to maintain its status as the People’s bank. We have the largest customer base currently and we will continue to reward their loyalty by offering them convenience, speed, flexibility and security. This, we believe, will also attract new customers.