BANK OF SIERRA LEONE
Prior to the establishment of the BANK OF SIERRA LEONE, the West Africa Currency Board was responsible for the issue of currency in Sierra Leone. It was obliged to buy and sell the currency it had issued, the West African Pound, at fixed rates against the Sterling in London.
Following the attainment of independence in 1961 however, the need was felt for a separate monetary institution controlled by Sierra Leone. In his 1962/63 Budget Speech, the then Minister of Finance asserted, “No independent country can regard itself as truly independent until it has its own national currency. The time is not too distant when Sierra Leone too will have its own central bank”.
Preliminary arrangements for the establishment of a central bank including the drafting of the legislation then commenced. On 27th March, 1963, the Bank of Sierra Leone Act became law and the Bank began operation on 4th August, 1964, the day Sierra Leone changed to the decimal system of currency.
The objectives of Bank of Sierra Leone as spelt out in the Bank of Sierra Leone Act 2000 are :-
- The promotion of monetary stability and a sound financial structure;
- The maintenance of the internal and external values of the Leone;
- The promotion of credit and exchange conditions conducive to the balanced growth of the economy;
- The issuing and distribution of notes and currency in the country;
- The formulation and implementation of monetary policy;
- Banker and adviser to the Government in financial and economic matters;
- The managing of domestic as well as foreign debt;
- Acting as custodian of the country’s reserve of approved foreign exchange;
- Acting as banker to the Commercial Banks;
- The supervision and regulation of the activities of commercial banks and other Financial Institutions to ensure the health of the financial system;
- The administration of the operations of Structural Adjustment Programs where the bank has specific responsibilities.