Heritage Bank To Boost SMEs’ Lending

Heritage Bank  is set to increase lending to  Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to  N100 billion by the end of 2016.

The bank’s Head of SME Product, Concept, Ideas and Development, Mr. Ekene Maduake, disclosed this in Lagos.

According to him, the bank has supported Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to the tune of N23.5 billion within the  two and a half year of its existence.

He said: “By the end of the  2016 financial year, we intend to grow this volume to about a N100 billion. We have already started working towards achieving this goal.”

He disclosed that based on the understanding that SMEs are the engine of growth in any economy, the bank has supported various sectors in the SME space, especially those that have the potential of creating more employment in the system.

“We have supported SMEs operators in the area of bottled water production, printing companies, beverages, those in the agricultural sector and other operators in the SME space,” he stated.

However, in the process of engagement with this sector, he said the bank noticed certain challenges. One of such challenge is that an average SME operator in Nigeria does not have a streamlined book keeping and accounting records. As a result of this, it is difficult to get reliable records to base judgment on the true worth of their businesses.

In most cases, “we are constrained to rely on the customers’ banking activities. What the bank is specifically doing to get them improved on this  is to render advisory services.

“We interact with them on day-to-day basis and on monthly basis. We organize advisory workshops where we take them through the rudiments of running businesses better, for the ultimate benefit of the economy,” he said.

He explained that one of the areas Heritage Bank has helped SME operators is how to differentiate between a company’s business operational cashflow and that of personal cashflow.

“We do this to enhance shared value,because as their businesses get better, we also get better as a bank. It is also another way of reaching the unbanked,” he stated.

The bank came into being in March 2013 as a result of the acquisition of banking licence of defunct Societe Generale Bank.   Again, most recently, Heritage Bank acquired another bank, Enterprise Bank.  This has made the bank bigger and better today.

At Heritage Bank, “we are committed to delivering distinctive financial services, building on innovation and partnership”, he stated. to create reserve and transfer wealth across generations.

“With service at the centre of delivery, the bank applies superior market knowledge, operational excellence and the culture of integrity, he stated.


Source:  Daily Sun Nigeria

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