FIB’s Quagmire

As Its Failure Runs Deep; CBL Shares In The Misery

Some former high profile employees of the First International Bank (FIB) including the chief financial officer have kept the Central Bank of Liberia’s (CBL) feet close to the fire maintaining that the CBL responsible to monitor the operations and activities of all commercial banks in the country must also share in the failure of the FIB since it was fully aware of its operational status.

Frmr. Gov Jones (CBL)      urrent Gov. Patray

Speaking on Thursday, January 17, 2019 as guests on a phone-in talk show hosted by a local radio station in Monrovia, the former employees explained that CBL had its team of examiners that regularly visited the bank and was systemically briefed and updated regarding FIB’s liquidity standing and the manner and form in which the bank was sold was by CBL shocking to   and remains a misery to them up to present.

According to them, they were at work one morning when they discovered that the bank (FIB) was barricaded with armed police while they were asked to leave the building, adding that the manner and entire form in which the exercise was conducted was unorthodox and does not confirm with any method applied in any decent and civilized society.

At the same time, some callers alleged that the bank was quickly sold by the CBL under the leadership of former Executive Governor J. Mills Jones whose quest to become the next president in the just-ended 2017 presidential election in which he failed miserably, did not want to be linked to any failed bank under his watch, which according to them would stamp a negative punctuation on his political kudos that would in turn question his ability to manage the various public entities including the financial sectors, despite being claimed as the ‘poverty doctor’.

It can be recalled that report gathered has revealed that employees of the First International Bank (FIB) are craving for their severance pay from their former employer (FIB)  amounting to about US$245,000  allegedly in the custody of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) since 2016 after FIB was bought by GN Bank.

According to the report while the full amount of the severance pay was honored by the buying bank and the services of some of the former employees were retained by GN Bank, all those affected complained of their efforts to get their just and hard earned money from the CBL is becoming frustrating for two years running.

Based on the tedious and hectic parading without any fruitful result, some of the affected workers on January 8, 2019 engaged a local phone-in talk show host in Monrovia with what they referred to as legitimate documents supporting their claim.

During the phone show, some callers expressed dismay our what they called CBL’s unjust treatment meted out against people who have worked for their money and were being dilled up and down to get their own money something they described as zigzag ‘iron fist’ posture on the part of CBL.

The report also pointed out that FIB before being bought, operated both an insurance firm and the banking sector, but while employees of the insurance segment have received the severance pay not only in full but long since, those from the banking section is yet to receive theirs.

However, CBL refuting the workers’ claim in a release dated January 9, 2019 headlined: CBL Never Received Money From GN Bank For Payment Of Severance For Former Staff Of FIB Bank says CBL categorically refutes allegation made on the Costa Show (102.7 FM) of 8th and 9th January 2019 that it received money to make severance payments as former staff of FIB Bank when it was taken by GN Bank in 2016.

At the time when the reorganization of FIBank commenced, provision of its assets and balances were transferred to the GN Bank. This intervention by the Central Bank of Liberia   was to ensure the smooth transition of operations of the FIBank which were taken over by GN Bank, noted the release.

Meanwhile, the matter involving the former FIBank workers is currently at the Labor Ministry for hearing against the FIBank/CBL based on a complaint filed by the former FIBank workers. Since the matter is presently before the Ministry of Labor for adjudication, CBL cannot speak to the merits and demerits of the matter, the release maintained.

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