The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Dr. J. Mills Jones, has asserted need for members of the College of Supervisors in the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) to look at their previous works and deliver a strong financial landscape for zone.
Governor Jones made assertion Monday when he addressed the ongoing ninth (9th) meeting of the College of Supervisor of the WAMZ, being held at the Monrovia City Hall.
The CBL Governor encouraged participants of the regional gathering to focus on a supervisory approach that will achieve the objectives in the region: deliver a forward-looking, risk based approach to regulation and supervision, at the core of which will be early intervention mechanism to identify cross-border linkage and associated risk; establish adequate surveillance tools to determine the effectiveness of corporate governance system of banks and the competency of their executives.
Governor Jones also spoke of the importance for members of the College of Supervisors to ensure consumers have right to information if they should make informed judgment; that banks act in a more transparent and accountable manner; deliver effective and effective competition in the banking sector across the zone and ensure that banking system is capable of supporting sustainable economic growth and development.
He used the occasion to share some of the gains made in the Liberian banking sector: relative stability in the sector with majority of the banks having strong capital and liquidity position far in excess of the regulatory requirements.
Government Jones that “if the College of Supervisors of WAMZ must achieve the objective of stable financial sector in the region, member states should act individually and collectively to train and maintain high quality, experienced supervisors who are willing to make decisions and command respect of the banks they supervise.
At the same time, Governor Jones has outlined the challenges in the Liberian banking sector, in which he stated is also applicable to a number of the other member countries as high incidence of non-performing loans.
“And if this situation must be addressed, the Central Bank of Liberia has decided to take serious actions against chronically delinquent and non-cooperative borrowers, including the naming and shaming of said borrowers as well as issuing a directive that will bar the banks from dealing with major offenders,” Governor Jones threatened.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the College of Supervisors and Sierra Leone Central Bank’s Director of Banking Supervision, Tapsiru Dainkeh, said the College of Supervisors’ work has been quite challenging “but can however boast of some tremendous strive aimed at minimizing and regulating the financial sector in the WAMZ.”
Dainkeh named some of the achievements as improved financial community in the zone; the publication of the second edition of the financial stability report; capacity building in the spirit of harmonization and the signing of corporate agreements, among others.
For her part, the Director of Financial Integration of WAMZ, Dr. Ngozi Egbuna, urged members of WAMZ to take appropriate measures to address the downside risk to financial stability highlighted in the report; in particular, the weak profitability of banks resulting mainly from high operating cost and losses recorded in the loan portfolio calls, urgent action to improve efficiency of the banking system by taking concrete steps to reduce operating cost, and at the same time strengthening risk management.
The WAMZ conference began on Friday, July 6, and ends this Friday, July 13, 2012.