The Managing Director of Access Bank Ghana PLC, Mr. Olumide Olatunji, has indicated that the bank will be receiving funds from Development Bank of Ghana (DBG) for on-lending to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as long-term loans. This has been made possible because of the partnership between DBG and the commercial banks.
Access Bank is committed to adding value to the economy; and one of the ways it measures its contribution is through the amount of credit it deploys into the market, particularly to SMEs. This is so because Access Bank considers SMEs a very strategic pillar in growth of the economy, as they contribute over 70 percent to GDP as well as create over 80 percent of employment opportunities.
Over the years, Access Bank has been actively engaged in the SME space – creating relevant products to support their growth. In the last two years, the bank has impacted over 6,500 SMEs with over GH¢50million in loan support – and through technical backstopping in the form of hands-on training on digitalisation from its capacity building workshops and SME Clinics held across the regions to improve small businesses so they can compete on the international market.
Commenting, Mr. Olatunji said: “Our holistic interventions are also evident in the products we offer SMEs, and such products have been made available digitally. Additionally, the bank has partnered with various stakeholders to ensure funds are readily available to SMEs, all in a bid to support growth of the sector”.
On the back of partnership with DBG, Access Bank aims to improve on what it currently offers in terms of products and other offerings to its SME client base, thereby making a greater impact in the sector. According to Mr. Olatunji: “DBG is providing Access Bank with long-term financing that will be made available to our customers who qualify under the criteria which have been set by DBG”.
He also added that through this partnership, Access Bank will be able to scale-up significantly in terms of credit creation to support DBG’s aspiration of making credit available to Ghanaians and Ghanaian businesses operating in our environment. “Prior to this, what we had seen was working capital facilities which were usually between sixty days to three years; but now DBG is making credit facilities available for a longer tenure and at a cheaper cost of borrowing,” Mr. Olatunji noted
Access Bank plans to leverage the partnership with DBG to continuously support its aspirations for SMEs. Through its network of branches and offices across the country, as well as its digital platforms, the bank’s clients and potential clients are encouraged to start the process of seeking funding for their businesses.
Speaking on the relevance of DBG, Mr. Olatunji said: “Development Bank Ghana is extremely relevant to the macro-economic stability of Ghana with the one billion dollars seed fund to banks. This makes collaboration with commercial banks very timely, and very relevant to the market within which we operate. The SME sector has seen an appreciable level of support from commercial banks, especially with Access Bank. DBG’s reinforcement seeks to make financing available for longer tenors – and, of course, provide cheaper forms of financing to the relevant sectors that can continue adding value to the economy of Ghana.
“The support will not only be about financing, but also training and capacity building; ensuring that banks provide the necessary intermediation necessary for credit creation for any economy to flourish,” he added.
Operating from fifty-four (54) business locations across the country with over three thousand (3,000) agents, Access Bank continues to build solid long-term relationships with customers based on trust, digital innovation, good customer service and transparency. The bank has over the years developed a deep understanding of its customers, delivering excellent services and empowering them to achieve more through financial inclusion.