By: Chance Baniko
The Governor met managers of commercial banks operating in Wau town, and said that as a national institution, the mandate of the bank is to ensure financial system stability, through licensing them and establish national payment system.
The governor appreciated the contributions of commercial banks in the country as great.
The commercial bank managers raised pertinent issues of the state government interfering with their businesses in terms of charging licenses fees. The governor promised to raise the issue with the state government so that it is addressed.
However he said that it is within the competence of BSS to issue licenses to commercial banks operating in the country. The Governor encouraged banks to play their roles of intermediary to help fuel economic growth in the country.
The Director General for Administration and finance also expounded on the challenges commercial banks are facing in the state. Yeni Samuel said the state government is charging taxes on banks, and also asking banks to contribute money for government functions. These problems are well known, he said.
He further said the land which belongs to BSS in Wau is being contested by the state government. But the documents clearly show the land as BSS property.
General difficulties facing commercial banks in the state include proliferation of random money transfer forexes in the state. Some of these forexes transfer up to 5 million SSP and charge exorbitant charges on customers. Others include big amount of money being transported by cars from distant towns such as Kwajok, and Twic. This is an exposition to risks. Hard currency challenges in the states’ commercial banks also featured prominently amongst others.
The governor Dier Tong proposed addressing this issue of taxing banks at a higher level when the governors’ forum takes place in Juba.
The governor also suggested to commercial banks to drop unnecessary charges on customers to encourage them to deposit money in the banks as opposed to keeping them at home.
The governor revealed that plans are under way to establish mobile money transfer in the country to avoid risks associated with carrying of large sums of money. He said some banks have already applied. “Something is being done as a substitute to discourage those illegal forexes in town, and BSS has the obligation to protect public interest.”
“When we license foreign banks, we give them condition to employ 90% locals and only 10% foreigners, but if there are issues arising, then we shall supervise to ensure conformity with this requirement.”
On the issues of why banks are not landing money, we have established credit reference bureau meaning that clients cannot borrow from many banks. The system can show whether a clients is a defaulter or not.
“I therefore encourage banks to attract savings so as to invest it,” the Governor stressed.