November 2, 2011 (JUBA) - The Rumbek Nile Commercial Bank (NCB) has reopened two years after it collapsed in 2009 due to bankruptcy. Over six thousand customers who had an accounts with the bank are now able to access their money after the bank was bailed out by the South Sudan government.
The manager of the Nile Commercial Bank in Rumbek, Daniel Mabor Machol, said that they resumed delivering services to consumers again on Friday. As well as paying people the money they have not been able to access since the banks collapse, the bank says it is also providing money transfer services, especially to students in Uganda.
Mabor said that the bank had changed its systems to prevent it collapsing in the future, encouraging citizens of Lakes state to open an account.
“Anyhow we are sure of ourselves because it is not first time [a] bank could collapse. Even in America some banks collapse and again they retain their power to work. So we are restarting now, changing our system such that [...] we will not collapse again."
The Nile Commercial Bank (NCB) was officially opened in 2002, despite the ongoing civil war between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and the Khartoum government, making it the first home-grown South Sudanese financial institution.
The following year the NCB’s head office was established in Yambio, in Western Equatoria state and later on was moved to Rumbek, which was the headquarters of the SPLM for much of the civil war.
After the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in 2005 the bank was moved to Juba, which became the capital of the region. In July this year South Sudan became independent from the north, following a referendum agreed in the peace deal.
Banks in South Sudan operate a western system of banking where interest is permitted. In north Sudan, which is governed by Shari’a Law, Islamic banking is enforced by the government.