A recent exploratory visit by the Management of Rokel Commercial Bank to the resource rich district of Kailahun may pave the way for the establishment of a new branch – the first by a government owned bank in over ten years.
A Team including the Managing Director, Walton Gilpin, Deputy Managing Director, Emmanuel Borbor and Directors held fruitful discussions with the leadership of the district including Paramount Chiefs, business leaders and ordinary indigenes who reportedly expressed delight at the prospect of having a government owned bank in their district after years of neglect by successive regimes.
Whilst the Bank’s Board of Directors has reportedly granted approval for the establishment of the new RCBank Kailahun branch, certain conditions would have to be met for the Bank of Sierra Leone’s approval of this unprecedented milestone for the agriculture and mineral rich district. The district’s very remote communities remained grossly unbanked – a situation the Managing Director of Rokel Bank considers unacceptable given its huge economic potentials.
“Our decision to expand to Kailahun is motivated by a recent market assessment we conducted coupled with our ever-increasing appetite to promote financial inclusion across the country” Gilpin said.
In another development, the Bank is set to unleash customized kiosks for its revolutionary Rokel Simkorpor mobile application.
The Kioks, to be stationed in strategic parts of Freetown and the provinces will be manned by specially trained agents who will help customers carry out normal banking transactions way from the usual long queues in banking halls. SimKorpor is figuratively a branchless banking service.
As Government continues with its sweeping reforms of the financial sector, Rokel Bank appears to be catching up very fast by repositioning itself as an effective player in the sector. The move to establish a presence in Kailahun is no doubt another bold step in promoting financial inclusion in Sierra Leone. The bank has continued to implement key reforms aimed at increasing its profit margins and operational effectiveness. A recently constituted Board of Directors has been very pivotal in ensuring the bank employs innovation to effectively compete.
On the heels of numerous local and international awards early this year, the bank also recently received another award by a Women’s Advocacy outfit- HE for SHE for being the best commercial bank of 2018. To date, Rokel Commercial Bank remains the second most profitable bank in Sierra Leone, netting a whooping Le62.7 Billion Profit (after tax) in 2017.
There are indications 2018 figures will be much higher.