By Theresa Kef Sesay
The Global Finance has presented its 28th annual listing of the best banks worldwide and names of the best global, regional, and national winners from more than 160 countries and regions.
Among the listed banks, the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) emerged as the Best Bank in Sierra Leone. Taken into consideration was SLCB’s strong national performance and dedication to innovation as Global Finance announced the country winner’s award in the world.
The Editors of Global Finance, with input from industry analysts, corporate executives and technology experts, selected the winners for the World’s Best Banks 2021 using the information provided by Banks and other providers as well as independent research, based on a series of objective and subjective factors.
The Judges considered performance over the period from January 1 to December 31, 2020, except for global winners, for which developments in the first half of 2021 were also considered. Global Finance then applied a proprietary algorithm to shorten the list of contenders and arrive at a numerical score, with 100 signifying perfections.
The algorithm weights a range of criteria for relative importance, including knowledge of local conditions and customer needs, financial strength and safety, strategic relationships and governance, competitive pricing, capital investment and innovation in products and services. Once the Judges narrowed the field, they examined the final criteria, including the scope of global coverage, size and experience of staff, customer service, risk management, range of products and services, execution skills and use of technology.
In the case of a tie, the Judges lean toward local providers rather than global institutions.
The panel also tends to favour private-sector Banks over Government-owned institutions. The organizers concluded by commenting that the winners are those Banks and providers that best serve the specialized needs of corporations engaged in global business; hence, they seek to honour not the biggest institutions but the best: those with qualities companies should look for when choosing a provider.
It must be noted that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bank increased its commitment to serve its clients, accelerating its digital transformation to improve its efficiency.
For its corporate clients, SLCB deployed the SLCB Mi Yone Online Banking platform that enables businesses to bank online. Among the platform’s capabilities include the creation of additional accounts; viewing of balances, transactions, loan details; funds transfer to own and third party accounts; blink payment and chatting with the Bank in real-time.
The Bank also launched its cashless payment services based on its SLCB Mobile App platform: SLCB Quick Pay enables cashless payment to be done in shops and supermarkets across the country. The introduction of its Mi Yone SLCB Visa Cards as a multipurpose vending companion gives access to users to shop online and access ATMs in Sierra Leone and worldwide.
The Mi Yone SLCB Premium and Debit cards are acclaimed as convenient, secure and easy to use with low transaction charges and affordable maintenance fees. At the same time, the Bank increased its money transfer services to include Western Union, Money Gram, Ria, Small World that permit clients to do their international payments quickly and directly into their accounts.
SLCB maintains lead in corporate giving as it donated more than Five Billion Leones to the Government and NGOs fighting the pandemic; engage in fighting other health challenges and contributing to developmental projects in the country.