Alhassan Andani, Managing Director of Stanbic Bank

Small and Medium Scale Enterprise operators (SME) in the Ashanti region can now heave a big sigh of relief following the launch of the SME Quick Loan service in the region by Stanbic Bank Ghana Limited.

Being the latest product of the international bank, the newest facility is aimed at giving financial assistance to SME operators without any hassle to enable them maintain and expand their businesses.

Speaking at the Ashanti regional launch of the facility, Mr. Stan Dell, the officer in charge of the bank’s SME products, disclosed that patrons of the loan service did not have to produce collateral before accessing the facility.

He said what patrons needed to produce was proof of their businesses and a bank statement covering a period of three months to be able to access the loan facility which ranged from GH¢1,000 to GH¢25, 000.

Mr. Dell emphasized that patrons did not necessarily have to be clients of Stanbic Bank, stressing that bank statements from other banks covering a period of three months were also acceptable.

He explained that prospective patrons who did not have bank statements from other banks had to open an account with Stanbic Bank and operate it for a month to qualify for the loan, which is issued within a week.

Mr. Dell noted that patrons were required to repay the loan, which is fully insured against eventualities and attracts the lowest interest in the country, within a period of three to 12 months.

He said the facility was introduced because the bank had realized that though SMEs formed 85 percent of the country’s business industry, assessment of credit facilities was a major headache for the players in the sector.

This, according to him, was because most banks had labelled the industry as high risk and therefore did not want to lend money to the players, thereby slowing the growth of the sector which was critical to the country’s economy.

Mr. Dell indicated that with the introduction of the facility, operators in the sector could now sit in the comfort of their businesses and access the loan facility to either maintain or expand their business.

The Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Alhassan Adani, was full of praise for the introduction of the facility and hoped that the challenges the SME operators faced with regard to assessment of loan facilities would be a thing of the past.

Whilst urging operators in the field to take advantage of the facility to expand their businesses and improve their lot, the MD entreated the beneficiaries to use the facility judiciously.

He noted that the system had been rolled out in many African countries where the bank was operating, and that the facility had proven to be the answer to the cries of players in the SME business.

Mr. Alhassan disclosed that by the end of the year, the bank would open three more branches in Kumasi to add up to the two in the system to ensure that people all over in the metropolis could transact business with them without much difficulty.

From Morgan Owusu, Kumasi

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