Rokel Commercial Bank Faces Huge Setback

After years of prosperity in the banking industry, Rokel Commercial Bank (RCB) is falling back on low standards owing to a ceaseless in-fight within the institution The struggle to take a the post of Managing Director (MD) is just too tough with no one knowing who want to replace Dr Walton Gilpin

Dr Gilpin is a great banking magnate who is being put down through the “Pull-Him-Down syndrome for which many Sierra Leoneans are well known. Fears are rife that Dr Gilpin’s departure will sound RCB’s deathnell especially in the face of Nigerian and Ghanian competitors.

Customers are sure to lose confidence in an institution that holds their money in trust. The bank is among few parastatals that have made. enough gains for govemment since Dr Gilpin took charge as Managing Director in July, 2017.

Since his coming, Walton has digitalised banking to deepen the financial inclusion strategy seen in the Rokel Sim Korpor. By his innovation, the last man in the last village, can access financial services. What a great move? The digital innovation is among many banking strategies for which RCB has got accolades and awards from within and outside Sierra Leone.

The MD has also pursued several strategies which made the bank stand tall, but it appears as if a prophet had no honour in his home town. Dr Gilpin is on the threshold of standing before a high court judge for sexual harassment allegation made against him by a legal employee, Margaret Davies. Other employees too have also filed legal suits against the MD who is due to appear in days if everything goes as planned.

Calling for an injunction to restrain Dr Gilpin from exercising managerial functions over the bank is the worst side of the allegations

“In the matter of an application for interim injunctive order relief or measures pending review of the decisions of the Managing Director at Rokel Commercial Bank dated 30th May, and 1st June, 2022…,” this letter was issued by the court, and has been served on Gilpin after months of internal wrangling. If the lawyer’s application holds, Dr Gilpin will cease to exist as Rokel Bank Managing Director.

As it stands, the injunction is bound to happen except God works out a miracle. A second letter urges the MD to comply. “Enclosed herewith is an interim injunctive order dated 20th instant with its supporting affidavits. You are strongly advised to comply with the said injunction order to avert contempt proceedings.

against you” the second court document reads.

The true words of the document means the Rokel MD should be temporally set aside until the logical conclusion of the matter it a subtle means of dismissal as it is extremely difficult almost impossible for anyone suspended under this government to make it again to the same seat.

Dr Gilpin runs the risk of being tried for contempt of court if he fails to obey the court order.

Despite threats of being humbled in a court of law, the MD remains a great man owing to his achievements he has made over the years. Great men are known by the great strides they pursue to make others great. The strength of a man is never judged by his capacity to destroy others, but can be judged by what he can do to benefit others. Dr Gilpin’s name, no doubt, occupies a proud place among men from whom have benefitted.

Those who have been left out in the banking services were brought
of banking through Dr Gilpin’s initiatives.

Before now, no junior worker could talk about going overseas for training, only senior workers enjoyed such privilege. Under Gilpin, senior as well as junior staff benefit from overseas training facilities to take the bank to higher heights.

Gilpin’s services are too visible to go unnoticed, and have been. recognised by a number of agencies in Sierra Leone and Africa.

International laurels he has brought home are displayed on most of RCB’s outlet for the public to see, and these have brought in many customers. Most of the awards are to Gilpin’s credit. The Rokel Bank MD is well respected in Sierra Leone and beyond for his rich banking experience, knowledge, skills and attitude. Gilpin came to Rokel Bank at a time, banks were going berserk owing to lack of initiatives and strategic leadership. Sierra Leoneans are witnesses to the decapitalisation of Sierra Leone Commercial Bank owing to bad debts.

It came out clearly during the investigations at the defunct commissions of inquiry when former government officials failed to pay back money they allegedly borrow from the bank..

The bad debt situation compelled the bank to resort to borrowing from government institutions. National Social Security and Insurance Trust, Road Maintenance Fund Administration and other institutions provided a bulk of these loans.

RCB also nearly fell into a similar situation although it was not badly impacted. It was at this time Dr Gilpin appeared, and kept the bank well afloat.

Since his coming, the situation although it was not badly impacted.

It was at this time Dr Gilpin appeared, and kept the bank well afloat.

Since his coming, the bank he was later asked to return has been making steady profit every year, and government and the people’s resources are thus saved.

meritorious service to his motherland, the MD’s authority is now at a low ebb at the bank owing to internal Conspiracy which began almost three months ago. The red flag about sexual harassment against Dr Gilpin raised following allegations of Incompetence.

Legal matters are no child’s play especially for a financial institution that holds the people’s
money in trust.

Since these allegations were made, much ink has been spilled as the matter became one of the hottest topics for public discussions and debates.

Many well-informed writers argued that sexual allegations are easy to be made but hard to prove, but harder to be defended by the party although innocent. The writer relies on heavily on the maxims of a 19th century legal writer, Sir Mathew Hale.

Government authorities would hardly be convinced by such arguments. Rokel bank has never been at ease within itself since the onset of the conspiracy.

Junior workers in the bank have chosen to have their own way in the face of superior orders presenting the institution as one that is rudderless. Nothing serious goes on without discipline.

Indiscipline in any government institution is bad, but worse in an institution that keeps the people’s means of livelihood.

Document seen by this press has shown that the MD himself is not pleased with the defiance of some legal staff at the bank. “I wish to bring to your attention acts of disrespect, insubordination, violation of office procedures being exhibited by the legal staff at Rokel Bank,”

The MD wrote board members. He made the complaint after the bank’s in-house lawyers refused to comply with a transfer order to assist with the legal aspects of the debt recovery since bad debts are increasing. The transfer, according to a document seen by this press, is a normal administrative action taken together with about another 15 staff who were also rotated. It also states that there is also another pupil lawyer who was employed as a cashier although he did law. He was given time to get some experience in the law office

The personnel took offence, and failed to honour the transfer. Speaking with one voice, the employees wrote letters to the Bar Association, the umbrella body of lawyers, human rights association, Ministry of Finance among others.

This is a typical conspiracy to bring down the hard working MD, but only time will tell. To be continue

 

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