By Moses Kargbo :
The Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) with support from the World Bank Group (WBG) are continuing their engagement with key Stakeholders and End Users of the Collateral Registry, which is currently being implemented with BSL.
With the legal and regulatory framework now in place with the Borrowers and Lenders Act of 2014 and The Borrowers and Lenders Regulations passed in July 2016, the joint team from the BSL and WBG held seminars in October 2016 with Judges, Magistrates, Lawyers and the financial institutions to further engage with them on the strides made with the establishment of the Collateral Registry.
The seminars focused on discussing the Act and the accompanying Regulations as well as to seek input from the stakeholders on a demonstration of the prototype of the registry by the software developer. The stakeholders and end users of the registry are a crucial feature to the development of the Collateral Registry and as a result their feedback will be factored in its final development.
BSL, who are responsible for the procurement of the hardware for the registry, anticipate that December 2016 will be the ‘Go Live’ month for the registry. The software for the registry, to be provided through support from the WBG, is now well-advanced to meet this targeted timeline.
In addition, BSL has committed to ensuring that The Borrowers and Lenders Act, be reviewed and amended to ensure that the legal and regulatory framework of the collateral registry meets international best practice.
Both BSL and the IFC team will now focus on a countrywide communication strategy to ensure that public awareness on the registry is raised, especially with Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who will stand to benefit the most by being able to use more efficiently their movable assets such as bank accounts, accounts receivable, intellectual property rights and vehicles or equipment as collateral to access finance.