Sierra Leone’s banking system is overseen by its central bank, the Bank of Sierra Leone and twelve commercial banks operate in the country.
All commercial banks are headquartered in Freetown. Accounts can be held in foreign and domestic currencies. While automatic teller machines are available in Freetown and other parts of the country, credit cards are not widely accepted. Transfers of over US$10,000 in value must be sent through the banking system with the objective of ensuring transparency.
Banks cannot lend in foreign currencies, which is a limitation on local business expansion. This can in turn impact the supply chains of large foreign-run businesses.
Currency can be freely converted in Sierra Leone, subject to availability. The Leone is not pegged to a foreign currency and has a floating exchange rate. The Leone has been subject to depreciation since mid-2014 due to declining inflows from the mining sector and, from mid-2015 onwards, a winding-down of Ebola-related donor inflows. Accordingly, the official US$/SLL exchange rate has moved from approximately Le 4,310 in August 2014 to approximately Le 8,600 in February 2019. Typically the US dollar trades in the unofficial, parallel currency market at a premium of 5-10% to the official exchange rate. The continued dollarization of the economy affects the exchange rate.
This is a list of commercial banks in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB)
Standard Chartered Bank (Sierra Leone)
Guaranty Trust Bank (Sierra Leone)
FBN Bank Sierra Leone, formerly International Commercial Bank
United Bank for Africa (UBA) Sierra Leone Main Page