Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) sources have dismissed rumours being spread around that the Bank Governor has said about Le800 Billion is missing from the new redenominated currency at the Central Bank.
According to BSL Corporate Affairs, there is enough money in stock at the Central Bank but the logistical challenge faced by the commercial banks is storage facilities whioh is the major problem, adding that far more people are changing the old Leones at the banks faster than expected.
The BSL Corporate Affairs further disclosed that while demand for the new redenominated currency is high, commercial banks have poor storage facilities and, therefore, a commercial bank stores both the old and new currencies in the same storage facility, which they say is slowing down the release of the new currency to customers.
It furthered that since the demand for the new currency is high, every day people go in droves to BSL and the commercial banks, noting that they are however working on the challenge of storage facilities for the commecial banks.
The BSL Corporate Affairs also harped on the restriction for the withdrawal of money from the commercial banks. They explained that Le30,000.00 (Thirty-Thousand Leones) is the highest money an average Sierra Leonean can withdraw per week unless there is justifiable reason(s) backed by evidence to withdraw beyond the Le30,000.00 threshold.
This restriction, they say, does not in any way apply to Government officials, noting that they have cautiously imposed the restriction on cash withdrawal having in mind that Sierra Leone is also under the Anti-Money Laundering Regulation in the sub-region.
“Many people are using Sierra Leone as a haven for money laundering and the restriction on cash withdrawer is a mechanism to discourage such criminal act,” BSL Corporate Affairs said.
They therefore entreated the general public to take the old Leone notes to either the Central Bank or the commercial banks as there is enough new redenominated currency as contrary to rumours that Le800 billion has gone missing at the Central Bank.
They also warned strictly that those who would fail to change the old Leone currency after the deadline October, this year, would have themselves to blame as no bank would accept it beyond that deadline.