By Festus Poquie
The Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI) has announced it is close to becoming the country’s largest financial institution due to significant growth in its assets and equity size over a four year period.
Bank President John B.S. Davies made the forecast Thursday in Monrovia at the start of the Bank’s golden jubilee, disclosing 100 percent growth
He said based on sound managerial and financial performance, LBDI is poised to overtake its competitors in the banking industry and that the Bank’s financials are being disclosed to generate competition in the sector for the benefit of customers.
Mr. Davies: “When I took over this bank the assets size was about US$120.2million. When I look back over four years we have grown to about US$175million in assets. That is almost 50% increase in assets size. When we took over in 2012, the equality position of this bank was US$10.5million; 500,000 above the regulatory threshold. To date our equity is in excess of US$23million . Our equity has grown to 100% over the last four years.
“If you extrapolate that growth rate and you project the next few years then you will agree with me that we are poised to be the largest bank in the country”
Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh has confirmed Davies’ projection, describing LLBDI as Liberia’s equivalent of the World Bank and the African Development Bank. He testified that LBDI has being providing noninterest bearing loan to the government and supporting the private sector.
The Liberian Bank for Development and Investment was created by an Act of the National Legislature in 1961 under the joint initiative of major international financial institutions that purchased equity in the Bank. It commenced operations in 1965 as the Liberian Bank for Industrial Development and Investment. Under an amendment in 1974, the name was changed to the Liberian Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI). A further amendment in 1988 allowed the Bank to engage in commercial banking activities, to compliment its development objectives.
Now at 50, Mr. Davies said the bank has been stimulating growth in the agriculture and infrastructure sectors coupled with facilitating the growth of small medium enterprises.
With respect to its corporate social responsibility activities for this 50 –year anniversary, the bank has announced it will invest in digitizing medical records at the John F. Kennedy Memorial hospital ; provision of 250KVA generator to the Phebe Hospital in Bong County and the construction of a computer lab at the University of Liberia. It will also finance a nationwide academic meet the challenge. Festus Poquie