FEATURE STORY

Liberia Collateral Registry Expands Access to Finance amidst Ebola Crisis

November 18, 2015

Image

Sunna Sambola, small business owner, Monrovia, Liberia

@ World Bank Photo Collection

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A new collateral registry has facilitated more than $226 million in loans to SMEs in one year
  • The increase in access to finance can help the economy recover from the effects of the Ebola crisis
  • The collateral registry allows to register moveable assets as collateral to access loans from commercial banks

Despite being launched at the height of the Ebola crisis in 2014, a to small and medium-sized businesses in one year. This increase in access to finance can help the economy recover from the effects of the crisis, and foster inclusive economic growth in a fragile and recently conflict-affected country. 

Richard S Klah, Associate Judge at the Commercial Court of Liberia, said: “I believe the private sector is key to the development of any country, especially in a post-conflict country like Liberia. . Business is going to boom in the next few years.”

An online, easy-to-use platform, the collateral registry allows individuals and micro, small and medium-sized enterprises  that do not have access to traditional collateral –such as land or real estate property – to register moveable assets as collateral in order to access loans from commercial banks. These moveable assets can be a car, a motorcycle, crops, agricultural equipment, accounts receivable, to name a few. 


" We believe that the economy will boom, if the collateral registry is actually used as we expect it to be used. We see it actually leading to a very productive economy, where people are going to have access to finance. "

Euphemia Swen-Monmia

Assistant Director, Collateral Registry at Central Bank of Liberia

The registry allows banks to provide secure loans to individuals and businesses that would not otherwise be able to have access to financing. Euphemia Swen-Monmia, Assistant Director, Collateral Registry at the Central Bank of Liberia, said: “We believe that the economy will boom, if the collateral registry is actually used as we expect it to be used. We see it actually leading to a very productive economy, where people are going to have access to finance.”

The collateral registry was established by the Central Bank of Liberia, in collaboration with IFC and the World Bank Group’s Finance and Markets Global Practice. It followed the enactment of a commercial reform and the establishment of a commercial court dedicated to resolving disputes between lenders and borrowers.

The Collateral Registry program was supported by the UK Government and IFC's Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA) and its donor partners Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. CASA supports private sector growth, investment, and job creation in Africa's fragile and conflict affected states. 



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