War-torn Somalia opens 2nd bank in capital



Locally-owned Premier Bank launched banking services on Thursday in Somali capital Mogadishu, becoming the second operating commercial bank in the war-torn Horn of African country.

In the past two decades, insecurity in Somalia of civil war shattered economic institutions and public service sectors.

However, the gradual improvement of security ushers Somalia into a period of economic revival as people begin to reconstruct their country for a better future.

Speaking at the launch, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud encouraged all Somali citizens to invest in their country, saying the nation was now on recovery path.

“From this year on, my government will work for the improvement of the country’s economy,” he pledged. Somalia has conventionally dealt with informal and unregulated money transfer firms to send and receive money.

Premier Bank is the second financial institution which launched banking services in Somalia after International Bank of Somalia (IBS) opened operations in Mogadishu in October 2014. IBS is owned and financed by Somali business persons.

Premier Bank is a privately owned Islamic bank established in Somalia. Licensed by the Central Bank of Somalia in 2014, the bank offers comprehensive one-stop financial solutions to Somali customers who include private and government institutions, corporate and sall and medium businesses and individuals.

The bank’s Managing Director Mahat Ahmed said delivery of quality services will be the bank’s key objectives as it rolls out its services in Somalia.

“Service and delivery is one of our key pillars. That is why we have partnered with MasterCard and SWIFT to bring these global services to the people of Somalia,” he said. “We want to build meaningful relationships with our customers and provide them with relevant and transformative financial solutions that meet and exceed their expectations.”

Halima Dhoore, a cosmetic shop owner told Xinhua that Somalis need financial institutions that can help keep businesses alive.

“We are dying for vital investments that can stimulate our business,” Dhoore said and expressed optimism about the chances of a bank succeeding in attracting customers.

“I hope a bank like this will inject necessary cash into Somali business industry, which is constantly starved of cash for a number of years. Our economy is finally beginning to pick up again, ” she said.

Mustafa Dhaqane, a small business owner said the opening of the bank in Mogadishu was a good testament that Somalia was on a recovery path after two decades of civil war that destroyed institutions.
“It is good for the people, government and everyone in the country. You know we are strapped for cash at the moment. It will improve the local economy and I hope the Premier Bank’s service will improve our cash flow significantly,” Dhaqane said.

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