FBNBank Ghana has held a capacity building programme for its clients in the Small-Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) segment dubbed FBNBank SME Clinic, in Accra at the African Regent Hotel.
This business-focused initiative which was rolled-out under the theme, “Accelerating Growth of your SME Business through FBNBank”, reaffirms the Bank’s commitment to the SME sector and aligns with its efforts to equip local businesses in the country with financial advisory services and essential knowledge to expand their operations.
Welcoming the participants, Mr. Semiu Lamidi, Executive Director and the Chief Financial Officer of FBNBank said, “SMEs are a key segment for Bank and for the growth of the economy. This SME clinic will provide SMEs with a good idea of the support FBNBank offers by way of products and services to its customers. As a Bank, our support to SMEs growth will help in the development of the economy, provide jobs to ease social pressure and provide access to cross border international opportunities”.
“FBNBank has several products which are beneficial to our SME clients. Some of the products include First Trader Solutions, Import Financing facility, Invoice Discounting facility, LPO Financing facility and Contract Financing. We also leverage our parent bank’s strength (First Bank of Nigeria) with its 129 years’ experience in dealing with local businesses and immense contribution to the growth of Africa’s largest economy. FBNBank is therefore well placed to support SMEs because it is another opportunity to show what “You First” truly means as we place SMEs at the heart of what we do”.
Simon Kpankpah a facilitator from Cedi Consult spoke about the compliance of SMEs. In his session, he stated that, “the compliance of SMEs in Ghana can be a challenge, but it is very important for every SME to be compliant. Many SME owners are not fully aware of all the regulations and requirements they need to comply with. They may not have access to proper information or guidance on compliance matters. SMEs also often have limited financial and human resources, making it difficult for them to dedicate time and money towards compliance. SMEs need to prioritize compliance in addition to other aspects of their business, such as sales and operations”.
He further stated that, “book keeping is also important in managing one’s business because it helps you monitor the finances of your business while owners are advised to record any business transaction. This is very important as it comes in handy when the business needs financial assistance where the financial records are a requirement”.
Also speaking at the session was Audrey Biney, Executive Director of Women of African Network who tasked the SMEs to take advantage of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). According to her, “AfCFTA seeks to provide platforms that support national priorities to unlock the enormous transformative potential of SMEs to power Africa’s long-term prosperity. It also important for SMEs in Ghana to understand the opportunities and challenges associated with regional trade, improve their competitiveness, enhancing the product quality and investing in innovation and technology to take full advantage of the expanded market access and trade opportunities provided by the Secretariat”.
She also spoke about the use of Pan-African Payment & Settlement System (PAPSS). According to her, “the establishment of PAPSS, ensures instant payment of cross-border transactions with the hassle of currency conversion. At a time when cross-border trading is high on the agenda with the AfCFTA, PAPSS is primed to facilitate the expected increased volumes in cross-border payments.”
The FBNBank SME Clinic brought together SME and Corporate clients. The programme was also attended by the management and some business leaders of the Bank.
FBNBank has in its 27 years of operating in Ghana remained focused on putting its customers and communities first. This, it has sought to do through the rich value and excellence of what the Bank contributes to the relationship with its stakeholders, particularly the Customers. FBNBank Ghana is a member of the First Bank of Nigeria Limited Group which is renowned for its great customer service and general stakeholder engagement garnered over its 129 years of operation. FBNBank Ghana has twenty-four (24) branches, four (f) service points and a network of agents across the country with over 500 staff. FBNBank offers universal banking services to individuals and businesses in Ghana.