Financial Sector Reform and Development

Sierra Leone is at a very low level of financial development. Banks in Sierra Leone are small (assets average about US$45 million), efficiency is low (non-interest expense averages about 10.1% of total assets and interest rate spreads some 10.8 percentage points), there is high concentration in the banking sector despite recent improvement (the three largest banks hold about 54% of total assets), and the skill and experience level of bankers are deemed to be low on average. Given these and other challenges, in this working paper, the IGC Sierra Leone Country Director looks at ways of developing the financial sector of Sierra Leone.