PwC and GN Bank host SME financial management seminar in Liberia

20 March 2018 3 min. read

Global professional services firm PwC has, in collaboration with GN Bank in Liberia, hosted a one-day financial management seminar for budding entrepreneurs in the country. 

Aimed at rectifying the issue of non-performing loans (NPLs), a major challenge which GN Bank executives believe can be attributed in part to poor financial record-keeping, GN Bank invited local small and medium-enterprise (SMEs) customers to participate in a financial management training session facilitated by the local branch of Big Four professional services firm PwC. 

Participants in the seminar were versed in financial management best practices, including accurate record and book-keeping, as well as given information on loan applications and the role of business owners in effective financial management – with PwC’s Edward Gomado pointing out that a successful business and collaborative relationship with the bank would be a win for all parties, allowing both to grow in tandem.

In attendance for the seminar, Joseph K. Anim, the Managing Director of GN Bank Liberia, noted that the problem of NPLs (loans where interest or scheduled principal repayments have become stagnant) was a concern for the central bank as well as commercial ones, with poor financial practices by businesses and a consequent mismanagement of cash and resources being partially to blame – in turn leading to many failed enterprises.

PwC/GN Bank host financial management seminar

“Poor record keeping makes it difficult to differentiate business transaction and personal transactions. And the responsibility of business owners and managers to avoid using assets of the business for personal use at the expense of the business,” Anin said, adding that effective financial record-keeping was one of the keys to success. 

A participant of the seminar, James Boakai of God Bless Me Business Center in Northern Liberia praised the joint PwC and GN Bank initiative; “I really appreciate GN Bank for this training. Nowadays to get a commercial bank render this important service free of charge is hard.” Head-quartered in Ghana, GN Bank began operations in Liberia in 2016, and is seeking to disrupt the local industry through greater customer accessibility and the introduction of mobile banking.

After a period of absence, PwC (which has over 9000 employees across 34 African countries and is engaged in key projects) also officially recommenced its activities in Liberia in 2016 with the launch of a local office in the capital Monrovia, welcomed at the time by the country’s president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – the first elected female head of state in Africa.

“PwC’s return to Liberia is a sign of the significant progress made by the Liberian government in attracting Foreign Direct Investment in an emerging economy. Liberia has a huge potential for growth due to its abundant natural resources and emerging markets,” then head of the PwC Liberia, Taweh Jefferson Veikai, said of the launch, “We look forward to playing a major role in improving the quality of life of the people of Liberia by opening new opportunities for local businesses as well as providing job opportunities for the talented young workforce.”

The initiative aims at eliminating key inefficiencies at a time when the banking sector across Africa is thriving, presenting Liberian banks with an opportunity to achieve exponential growth.