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The Banking Sector & The Economy
Along with the Liberian dollar (LD), Liberia uses the U.S. Dollar as a legal tender. It also offers 100% repatriation of finds and no currency exchange restrictions. These may include profits and dividends (net of taxes), remittance of moneys (net of taxes) in the event of the sale or liquidation of the business, repayments of loans acquired from foreign banks, etc. All supplies and semi-finished products used in investment projects including equipment, raw materials, and machinery are exempt from import duty.

The banking sector is gradually modernizing its operations. Currently, automatic teller machines (ATMs), short message service (SMS), and internet banking are in full operation at several banks. These financial innovations are the result of a healthy competitive environment being encouraged by the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL). In addition to CBL, which regulates banking activities in the country, Liberia currently has right commercial banks which provide Commercial Banking, Western Union, Money Gram, Electronic Tool Fund Transfer and Micro Financing services. These banks are:

1. Liberian Bank for Development & Investment (LBDI). This bank is engaged in Development Banking, Commercial Banking, Western Union and E-tool Fund transfer. The Government of Liberia owns 19%, Private Liberians own 10%, Local Companies own 23% and Private Foreign companies own the remaining 48%.

Email: Lbdi.mails@lbdi.net, Website: www.lbdi.net, Telephone: 231-6-513-498.

2. Ecobank Liberia Limited (EBLL). Ecobank is involved in Commercial Banking and Western Union activities. It is 100% owned by Ecobank Transitional Inc. which is headquartered in Togo. Email:
cobanklr@ecobank.com, Telephone: 231-6-689-658

3. International Bank Liberia Limited (IB). This institution is engaged in Commercial Banking and MoneyGram activities. Foreign/Private interest own about 96% of the equity while Private Individuals own the remaining 4%.
Email: Customarcare@ibliberia.com, Telephone: 23 1-6-974-649

4. Global Bank Liberia Limited (GBLL). This bank is 100% subsidiary of Bank PHB and is engaged in Commercial Banking and MoneyGram activities.
Email: Email@globalbankliberia.com, Telephone: 231-4-751-878

5. First International Bank Liberia (FIBLL). This bank has a Private/Local ownership of 3% and a Private/Foreign ownership of 97%. It is engaged in Commercial Banking and MoneyGram activities. Email: info@fib-lib.com, Telephone: 231-77-825-850

6. United Bank for Africa Liberia Limited (UBA). This institution provides Commercial Banking and MoneyGram services. It is 100% owned by Private/Foreign interest.
Email: www.ubagroup.com, Telephone: 231-6-448-000

7. Access Bank Liberia (ABL). This bank provides Commercial Banking and Microfinance banking services. It is completely owned by Access Holding/AFDB/European and Investment Bank/IFC. Email: info@accessholding.com, Telephone: 231-77-006-688

8. Guaranty Trust Bank Liberia (GTBL). GTBL offers Commercial Banking and Western Union services. It has a 99% private/foreign ownership interest and a 1% local ownership interest. Telephone: 231-6-991-450
Moreover, as part of its bank reform program, the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), along with the Liberian Bank Association, has recommended to the Government of Liberia the need to fast-track the establishment of a commercial court. This court would expeditiously enforce financial contracts, which will help curb non- performing loans problem in the banking sector. In furtherance of good corporate governance, the CBL has also amended several regulations governing the operations of commercial banks based on results of both off- site and on-site inspection.

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