Freetown, Sierra Leone, June 19, 2017 –
The World Bank Group today announced the official launch of a collateral
registry in Sierra Leone, an innovative financial tool that will allow
smaller businesses in the country to use movable assets such as machinery
or equipment to access loans, helping them grow.
Hosted by the Bank of Sierra Leone, the online
registry was developed with the support of the World Bank Group and the
UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). It will increase
the financing options for entrepreneurs and smaller businesses that lack
traditional collateral such as land and buildings to access credit.
“This collateral registry is an important
financial and technological tool that will help small businesses in Sierra
Leone unlock their assets to access the loans they need to grow,” said
James Seward, Practice Manager for the World Bank Group’s Finance and
Markets Global Practice. “It is also part of the World Bank Group’s strategy
to support overall economic growth in Sierra Leone, and increased financial
Collateral registries are public databases
that allow financial institutions to register their security interests
in movable assets used by borrowers for loans, and contain information
on movable collateral belonging to potential borrowers. These registries
enhance transparency in the credit system, and strengthen the financial
Sierra Leone is the fifth country in sub-Saharan
Africa to establish a modern, online collateral registry with the support
of IFC and the World Bank, following Malawi, Ghana, Liberia, and Nigeria.
Accessing credit has traditionally been difficult
in Sierra Leone, leaving small businesses with limited options. The new
registry should break down barriers to lending. It went live in December
2016, and 72 registrations have already been entered in the system for
various types of collateral.
Sierra Leone’s registry platform can be
accessed at www.slrc.gov.sl
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is
supporting Sierra Leone’s private sector, and the development of its collateral
registry, through its Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA).
CASA is active in 13 countries in sub-Saharan Africa, including Sierra
Leone. CASA is supported by Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.