Fidelity Bank, Others Lead In Banks’ Support For SMEs

Mrs Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Fidelity Bank MD/CEO

By NewsBits

Latest reports have shown that Fidelity Bank, FBN Holdings, and Guaranty Trust Holding Company recorded the most support for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

BusinessDay Analysis of Fidelity Bank, FBN Holding, GTCO, Zenith Bank, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, Union Bank, Access Bank, and Sterling Bank financial books showed that these banks recorded a cumulative contribution to the Small and Medium Enterprises Equity Investment scheme (SMEEIS) of N22.6 billion, up 6.6 percent from N21.2 billion in September 2021.

The SMEEIS is a voluntary initiative of the Bankers’ Committee which was in response to the Federal Government’s concerns and policy measures for the promotion of SMEs as vehicles for rapid industrialisation, sustainable economic development, poverty alleviation, and employment generation.

Fidelity Bank’s small and medium enterprises equity investment reserve recorded an increase of 33.4 percent to N7.11 billion in September 2022 from N5.33 billion in September 2021.

Fidelity Bank has the Eduloan targeted at private schools registered, Fidelity Private Medical Support Scheme designed for eligible private hospitals, and Fidelity Pharmacy Support Scheme designed for eligible community pharmacy businesses amongst a range of value-adding services and products designed to help SMEs run profitably.

While FBN Holding’s small and medium enterprises equity investment reserve stood at N6.08 billion year on year; GTCO’s small and medium enterprises equity investment reserve was at N4.2 billion year on year in the period under review.

Small and medium enterprises equity investment reserve figures for other banks indicate that Zenith Bank recorded N1.2 billion; Stanbic IBTC Holdings’ recorded N1.0 billion; Union Bank reported N935 million; Wema bank recorded N902 million; Access Bank recorded N827 million and Sterling Bank reported N235 million between September 2021 and September 2022.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, the 10 (ten) percent of the profit after tax (PAT) to be set aside annually shall be invested in small and medium industries as the banking industry’s contribution to the Federal Government’s efforts towards stimulating economic growth, developing local technology, and generating employment.

“Deposit Money Banks (DMBs)/Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) who will be eligible for wholesale funding shall satisfy the following conditions – Sign MOU with the CBN, undertake to bear all the credit risks of the loans they shall be granting, Issue authority to the CBN to deduct the balance of the outstanding loan at source from its account with the Bank, Set aside ten (10) percent of SME fund accessed for financing start-up businesses,” the apex bank said in a note.

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