Coronavirus Response… BSL To Splash Le500 Billion

In recognition of the fact that the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic portends a major global recession, the leadership of the Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL) has concluded that putting measures in place to maintain macroeconomic stability in the face of these expected challenges fall within its core mandate.

Accordingly, under the chairmanship of the Governor, Professor Kelfala M. Kallon, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank held an emergency meeting on 18th March 2020 to discuss and agree on policy measures that are necessary to soften the potentially adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the nation’s economy.

The measures include creation of a Le500 Billion Special Credit Facility to Finance the Production, Procurement and Distribution of Essential Goods and Services.

Lowering of the Monetary Policy Rate by 150 basis points from 16.5 percent to 15 percent

Standing Lending Facility is 19.0 percent

The Le500 Billion Special Credit Facility to Finance the Production, Procurement and Distribution of Essential Goods and Services will be a concessionary interest-rate Facility that will be channeled through the commercial banks.

BSL will also support the Private Sector for the Importation of Essential Commodities.

It will also provide foreign exchange resources to ensure the importation of essential commodities. The list of commodities that qualify for this support will be published in due course.

It will further give Liquidity Support to the Banking Sector.

To ease any tightness in liquidity in the financial market, the MPC decided to extend the reserve requirement maintenance period for commercial banks from 14 days to 28 days. This will be complemented by an active participation in the secondary market by the BSL.

BSL will also continue to closely monitor domestic and external developments and stand ready to take all necessary monetary policy measures to promote economic growth and maintain price and financial system stability.