Ebola: Liberia's central bank unveils relief measures for lenders

Jan 05, 2015

The central bank has waived default charges and extended repayment periods on loans.

The Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) has announced a relief package for commercial lenders hit by the ongoing Ebola crisis.

It said it will waive default charges and extend repayment periods on loans, and will also pay off outstanding loans taken by schools that were forced to close.

Repayment periods for all lenders that received funds linked to previous central bank stimulus initiatives will be extended by two years and interest rates reduced to two per cent from three per cent.

Governor Joseph Mills Jones told reporters yesterday (January 2nd) in Monrovia that the virus has had a profound negative impact on the economy.

He said economic growth, which was expected to average 6.6
per cent
over the next three years, is now expected to reach only about one
per cent.

The measures will "help commercial banks in restructuring and refinancing the private sector to ensure a rapid recovery of the economy," Mr. Jones said.

He explained the impact of the disease resulted in Liberian banks’ total assets declining by 2.7 per cent between June and October as deposits fell by 2.8 per cent, and that loans and advances dropped 7.2 per cent, with lenders’ total capital down 4.2 per cent over the same period.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801768449-ADNFCR