Stanbic IBTC Bank, a member of Standard Bank Group, has deployed a new product, SME Quick Loans, to bridge the huge funding gap in the SME segment of the economy. This product will enable eligible SMEs access finance within five days of applying for a loan.
Sola David-Borha, Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Bank said the introduction of SME Quick Loan to the Nigerian market, would benefit SMEs which could not access funding, due to lack of financial statements and collateral, reiterating the bank’s commitment to the deployment of innovative products and services to the retail segment of the market. David-Borha said this significant product not only provides finance to a large pool of entrepreneurs, but does so quickly, in recognition of the urgent financial needs of growing businesses in Nigeria.
The Head of Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, Obinnia Abajue, said the bank is committed to closing the financing gap for small businesses in the country, through its SME Quick Loan product. “Small businesses, which are typically the backbone of the economy, suffer considerably from inadequate access to capital. SME Quick Loan will help to mitigate this problem and empower SMEs to contribute more optimally to economic development. It entails a new credit evaluation approach that reduces loan disbursement process from weeks to less than five days, reduces application forms from 19 pages to two.”
He added: “Stanbic IBTC invested significantly in research in the SME segment in Nigeria , to complement the credit evaluation with processes that fit the SME business owner. All this has improved our ability to determine future risk profiles of customers. The combination of these, together with affordability assessments as well as fraud management and prevention, allows the bank to increase credit risk appetite. We are able to offer unsecured loans, ranging from N100,000 toN4.5m, to SMEs to enable them achieve high level of productivity and capacity.”
SME Quick Loan employs a unique psychometric evaluation to overcome the traditional challenges of assessing risk in the SME market. Its introduction by the Standard Bank Group, has resulted in 84 percent increase in access to loans by applicants. Through the product, over N2.2 billion has been disbursed to 1,100 small businesses in Nigeria.
The deployment of the product by Stanbic IBTC Bank is in line with the strategic decision of Standard Bank to access informal trader markets acrossAfrica to offer loans to previously unbanked and underserved wholesalers and retailers, including female entrepreneurs, with the goal of growing small businesses into bigger businesses. Standard Bank Group is extending the SME Quick Loan solution into 10 other countries in Africa in the next 12 months.
Stanbic IBTC Bank is a member of Standard Bank Group, a leading African banking group focused on building first-class on-the-ground banks in chosen countries in Africa and connecting other selected emerging markets to Africa and to each other. It has a footprint which now spans 17 countries across theAfrican continent, including South Africa , and 13 countries outside Africa, including China and Brazil , which are key to its cross border strategy and success.