Amenfiman Rural Bank Limited at Wasa Akropong in the Wasa Amenfi East District in the Western Region has put together some relief interventions to cushion clients to ease the financial difficulties in this era of COVID 19.
The CEO of the Bank, Dr Alex Asmah, in an interview with Business &Financial Times revealed that the board and management had identified some business hold ups particularly in the area of cash flow which has hit the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises, MSME that are the Bank’s core clients.
According to him, the COVID 19 pandemic and its associate adherence to safety protocols coupled with the closure of borders and other human restrictions have affected the business environment of which clients of the Bank have been negatively affected.
By this, the Bank has had series of interactions with the Bank’s customers and assessed how the pandemic is impacting on their businesses and have realized that there is the need to develop some relieving interventions to support them to cope with the challenges that the pandemic is bringing to their businesses.
“The basic difficulties these Micro and Small Medium Enterprises are going through are coming from cash flow challenges. Because of the lockdown, many of them could not get supplies from their suppliers to be able to sell,” he added.
He revealed that a lot of the products are not selling now because everybody is focusing more on essential commodities around this time.
The Bank has therefore designed interventions that will be able to support these affected clients to go through the difficult times and come back strongly keeping their businesses.
These interventions include three months’ deferment of monthly loan repayment instalment of both principal and interest and or principal up to three months to be able to generate cash flows to turn around their business and also re-scheduling of existing loan facilities to allow a reduced monthly payment in order to ease the pressures on the customers.
Other relieving interventions include Additional Funding Support to the Bank’s business customers at flexible terms to help them cope with the shocks of the pandemic.
The Bank has also announced an interest rates cuts for new customers only, which will comprise commercial interest rate for MSMEs by 200 basis points which is 2% per annum and salaried loans with the exception of smart loans also reduced by 150 basis points also meaning 1.5% per annum.
These interventions put together the CEO believes that the Bank will be able to support business owners and will be able to withstand the shocks and cope with the challenges that the COVID 19 pandemic has brought to the external business environment.
Earlier the Bank donated items to the government through three local assemblies to support the fight against COVID 19 pandemic.
The items worth about GH¢67,000 was presented to Wasa Amenfi West Municipality, Wasa Amenfi East Municipality and Wasa Amenfi Central District all in the Western Region.
The items are, disposable gloves, nose masks, hospital mattress and tissue papers. Other items include, disposable masks, gun thermometers, Veronica buckets with stands and hand sanitizers.