Banking in Somalia has received a big boost with the launch today of Premier Bank, the second international commercial bank to open up business in the country, in a span of one year.

CFiwoNfUEAAAtFXBanking in Somalia has received a big boost with the launch today of Premier Bank, the second international commercial bank to open up business in the country, in a span of one year.

The bank, whose official opening was attended by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, the Governor of Somalia’s Central Bank Bashir Isse and other senior government officials, promises to redefine banking standards in the country through transformative banking solutions.

The Bank’s Managing Director Mr. Mahat Ahmed promised nothing short of stellar service. “Premier Bank’s intention is to impact on the overall growth that we continue to witness in our beloved country, on the business side, we have also put in place certain services that we do feel will support the growth of the business community, we are happy to announce today that Premier Bank is a registered swift partner, with a swift code which will enable our people and our customers to send money worldwide”, he said.

In his remarks, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud commended the Somali Central Bank for providing a conducive environment for financial institutions to thrive. He said, “I commend the Somali Central Bank in their efforts to encourage private financial institutions like this one to open and flourish in the country. As the Central Bank prepares the legal procedures needed for our international partners to operate, there is still a shortage of financial institutions. But I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished so far. There are a lot of great things we’ve accomplished.”

Somalia’s Minister of Finance Mohamed Ibrahim echoed the President’s remarks saying the Bank will connect Somalia to other parts of the world and ease the pressure brought about by the embargo on Hawalas, used for money remittances from abroad. “This is the most advanced Bank ever open in Somalia. When I entered I felt like I was outside of the country, because I could see all necessary standard banking procedures in place. I commend the owners and staff for their great work and service to customers”, added the minister.

Premier Bank Limited which transacts its business using major international currencies, is a fully fledged Islamic Bank providing several financial services. It has partnered with MasterCard and SWIFT to deliver global online financial services including Automated Teller Machines. The bank has two branches in the capital Mogadishu and has plans to expand its presence in the country’s main cities.

The launch of the bank is yet another demonstration of the peace and stability being witnessed in Somalia following the intervention by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who have driven away the Al Shabaab militants from most of the country. Unverified figures puts the banked in Somalia at only 3-percent, out of a population of 10-million people. Millions of Somalis still depend largely on the informal money transfer firms known as Hawalas. However, with almost worldwide restrictions on the unregulated money transfers due to security concerns, the Federal Government is encouraging Somalis to take up conventional banking which guarantees security for their transction SOURCE  BY BASHIR HASHI YUSSUF

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