Sierra Leone Telegraph: 31 May 2019:
Sierra Leone’s economic development has for far too long been held back by poor financial investment regulations, especially regarding the borrowing and lending of money for business growth or start-ups.
But all that may be about to change, following yesterday’s passing into law by the country’s parliament, of various amendments to the existing laws.
These changes are expected to significantly improve lending and borrowing, as well as combat money laundering and terrorist financing in the country.
The amendments were sponsored and taken to parliament by the Deputy Minister of Finance – Patricia Laverly.
Presenting the amendment Bills to the House, she said that the Bill entitled “The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism (Amendment) Act, 2019” will amend The Anti-Money Laundering and Combating of Financing of Terrorism Act, 2012.
She also said that the Bill entitled “The Borrowers and Lenders Act, 2019” will repeal and replace the Borrowers and Lenders Act, 2014, so as to broaden the scope of Collateral Registry – including the registration of ‘encumbrances in immovable assets’, such as mortgage on a property.
With these amendments, it will now be possible for lenders who are not licensed and supervised by the Bank of Sierra Leone, to be able to register their security interests and collaterals.
During the course of the debate in parliament yesterday, MPs from across the political divide welcomed the amendments, which they described as “good and healthy for the development of the financial industry in the country”.