Scaring! As U.S. Dollars Shortage Hits Commercial banks

Mr. John Davies, President Liberia Bankers Association

An independent investigation conducted during the past weeks by this news outlet has discovered the scarcity of United States Dollars at some banking institutions in the Country is becoming visible as depositors who regularly visit their respective banks for possible withdrawal of their money from their United States Dollar accounts are always finding it difficult to have their transaction successful.

Several banking institutions that were toured by our staff on assignment to ascertain the actual facts surrounding this situation, discovered that at some of these banking institutions, the presence of dozens of customers in queue to withdraw from their US Dollar accounts, but as usual were disappointingly told  by tellers of these banks, “The system is down”.

Amazingly, these very tellers who earlier said “The system is down” were keen to receive US Dollars deposits, but then the question many of the withdrawals kept asking was, “Why collecting people’s money for deposit the system is always on, but to withdraw the system is always down?” one of the withdrawals perhaps in his late 50s who stood in queue for hours questioned.

Sources closed to some of these banks visited during this assignment, said many US Dollars depositors have resolved not to deposit their money anymore to any bank due to what they described as the tactics being employed by banking institutions on the ‘System is down’ when you urgently need your hard earned cash to handle personal activities.

The reported scarcity of the US Dollars at various banking institutions in the Country seems to draw the attention of some of the business people, many of whom, according to our investigation are keeping their money at their various homes in order to avoid any embarrassment whenever they need their money for business urgently.

“It is a serious problem in our banking sector, no one knows what led to the scarcity of the US Dollars, perhaps authorities at these banking institutions do not want to create fear in the minds of depositors, but rather remain mute on the issue; they are playing a low profile on this,” one of the depositors who spoke to our reporter during this investigation said.

According to our source at one of the banking institutions toured, some officials of the Liberian government have allegedly refused to deposit their US Dollars here in Liberia, but rather preferred to do so at various foreign banks, this according to our source gives rise to the scarcity of the US Dollars in Liberia.

Information also gathered by our team of investigators and not confirm, discovered that one of the banks which has one of its branches in the southeast of the Country had to ordered its branch manager to immediately bring to its headquarter US Dollars deposit made from customers in that part of the Country

Another disclosure made during this investigation from our source, was the alleged refusal of the newly introduced five hundred Liberian dollars bank note from some of these banks by some high up profile officials in the Liberian Government, a situation that baffled many ordinary Liberians who vented out their frustration to our staff.

“early this year, Liberian Government informed Liberians about the introduction on the Liberian market new bank notes including the five hundred Liberia dollars in its bid to replace the old bank note, but we are yet to see this happening, as mutilated Liberian dollars bank notes are still visible even though new money was printed,” Abraham O. Johnson, a Liberian businessman speaking to our team said.

Effort by this outlet to contact the President of the Liberian Bankers Association, Mr. John Davies proved unsuccessful as his mobile lines rang endlessly.

Investigation continues

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About Cholo Brooks 13180 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.