A subsidiary of the State Bank of Mauritius in Seychelles is closing down after a review of its operations and performance amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a top official said on Friday.
The governor of the Central Bank of Seychelles (CBS), Caroline Abel, told a press conference that CBS has approved a formal request from SBM Bank Seychelles to close down its business.
Abel said the board deliberated on the request on Thursday and did the necessary analysis while taking into account the reality concerning this institution.
“We have considered the impact on the clients of this bank and even if it is somewhat unfortunate that we have had to approve this demand, all the necessary measures are being taken to ensure that the clients will be able to transfer to another banking institution in a reasonable time frame,” she added.
The SBM Bank which became operational in Seychelles in August last year said the decision to close down its business forms part of its revised strategy following a review of the operations and performance of its subsidiaries in countries where it is present, while also considering the potential impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As of Friday, SBM Bank will no longer accept new transactions and expects to wind down its operations by October 30. Customers may contact the Central Bank on 4282000 and choose line 3 or email info@cbs.sc  for queries, complaints or clarifications pertaining to the closure. SBM Bank can be contacted on 4303356.
Account holders of the Bank are being encouraged to use electronic transfer facilities to move their funds to accounts held with other commercial banks. To facilitate this process, SBM has agreed to waive all charges associated with the transfer of funds and other transactions, as well as the closure of accounts. Clients opting for cash will be allowed to withdraw up to SCR25,000 ($1,400).
Abel said that for transfer of funds abroad as part of the closure, it is setting up a framework with the bank to do this in instalments so as not to further impact drastically on the country’s already strained reserve.
As the regulator of the country’s banking sector, CBS is working in close collaboration with the bank to ensure that the interest of its customers and the public is safeguarded.
Abel said that the staff members will be paid all their dues in accordance with existing regulations and that CBS has “already informed the Department of Employment of our decision in regards to this institution, to ensure the staff get what is their due.” 
Source: Seychelles News Agency