First City Monument Bank, FCMB, one of the leading providers of financial services in Nigeria, has continued to grow and support small and medium enterprises, SMEs and the country’s industry.
The bank, which was recently voted the best SME bank in Africa, thereby consolidating its position as the dominant financial institution in the segment, has made more funds available to women entrepreneurs through its “SheVenture” initiative.
The SheVentures initiative offers increased support to women-owned SMEs and start-ups through access to finance, training and mentoring with the unique benefit of a zero interest rate for an initial period three months.
Over 15,000 women-owned SMEs have so far benefited, in terms of funding and training, over the past 18 months.
In recognition of its great contributions to the growth of the small and medium-sized business sector, FCMB was recently voted the best SME bank in Africa at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional Awards which took place last year, in November 2020. , another confirmation of the unmatched commitment and exceptional performance in providing exceptional services, including financing, capacity building and other value-added supports, to small and medium enterprises.
The Asian Banker is an authoritative platform for strategic business information for the financial services industry worldwide.
The annual awards held by the company are one of the most comprehensive, transparent and respected in the industry, covering the full spectrum of topics and areas that make up the financial services system.
According to the Asian Banker, FCMB became the best SME bank in Africa after “a series of online surveys across the region to collect feedback from thousands of customers by market.
“In the survey, we also asked customers to rate how well their main banks helped them during the crisis. Results and rankings faithfully reflect the voice of customers.
The organizers further said: “FCMB has introduced various digital initiatives in the SME segment, such as digital lending products (Quickloans) and its new mobile banking platform.
“In addition, the Bank launched a platform, a first of its kind, to help women-owned businesses grow, leveraging access to finance programs, mentoring programs, as well as training and networking opportunities.
“FCMB has also helped SMEs build their capacity, thereby improving their business operations, connecting with their peers and having access to trusted service professionals.
“The Bank has a 25% market share in the SME sector and in 2019 it had more than 300,000 new accounts in this segment.
“We congratulate FCMB for its incredible contributions to the growth and sustainable development of SMEs in the region. “
Speaking at the reception of the award, Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Bukola Smith, said the Bank’s emergence as number one in the highly competitive SME category speaks volumes about its journey. so far and its contribution to business success, despite the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith said, “As a resilient, inclusive and responsive institution, we have continued to deploy solutions to turn the challenges posed by COVID-19 into opportunities for our clients by leveraging our robust technology, our transformative momentum. digital technology and our highly professional team.
“Our SME banking offerings have dramatically changed lives through the creation of jobs and wealth, among other benefits.
“It’s because we believe the only way to be successful is when our customers are successful.
“We are very proud to be the Best SME Bank in Africa, especially after KPMG ranked us as the Best SME Bank in Nigeria in the 2019 Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey report.
“This latest award will undoubtedly inspire us to perform better.”
FCMB, as a major financial powerhouse in Nigeria, has built a solid foundation and dominated the SME segment by consistently offering various cutting edge solutions through its main pillars of support.
These are access to capital, capacity building, advisory services, networking opportunities and technology.
FCMB’s SME Advisory Service provides market information and technical assistance to businesses, access to intervention funds in partnership with development finance institutions as well as credit risk-sharing facilities to mitigate the risk. credit risk and collateral gaps encountered in SME loans.
The Bank has also taken the lead by automating and digitizing its SME lending process via the FCMB Quick-loans platform.
Thanks to this platform, the Bank disburses more than 5,000 digital loans per month to SMEs.
FCMB is also realizing the potential of agriculture to transform the Nigerian economy, generate jobs, income and diversify.
To this end, the Bank has steadily increased its support to SMEs through agricultural value chains from input manufacturers, service providers, primary producers, traders, processors, manufacturers and exporters as well as distributors. and traders of agricultural products.
FCMB is one of the few banks with the highest agro-industrial portfolio in terms of contribution at 9 percent.
FCMB also recently launched its Business Zone, an online community where SMEs can interact with each other and use the services of various business facilitators and professionals to take advantage of various online learning programs.
The Bank has also been active in the renewable energy sector by lending to SMEs under a program developed by the World Bank, in the hope of reducing electricity shortages, especially in rural and economically viable communities.
First City Monument Bank Limited, with over 200 branches spread across Nigeria, is a member of FCMB Group Plc.
The Group is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with market leading subsidiaries in their respective segments.
After having successfully transformed into a group led by retail banking and wealth management, FCMB intends to continue to distinguish itself through innovation and the provision of exceptional services in line with its values of execution, professionalism, innovation and customer orientation (EPIC).