Empire Trust MfB Commences Operations - By Chijioke Nelson(Guardian Newspaper) View source
The importance of access to finance in the development of small businesses and the role of microfinance banks in facilitating micro credits have again been underscored by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the newly licenced Empire Trust Microfinance Bank (ETMfB).
LCCI President, Alhaji Remi Bello, who was also the Guest of Honour at the grand opening of the microfinance bank in Lagos, at the weekend, said the chamber is happy with the promoters of the financial institution and will identify with any effort directed at boosting the activities of small businesses especially in the area of finance and credit.
“Lack of access to credit by small and micro enterprises businesses has been identified as a major reason for the growing level of poverty in many developing countries. This further underscores the crucial role of microfinance institutions in the economic growth and development process, especially in their service to small businesses,” he siad. But the Managing Director of Empire Trust Microfinance Bank, Seun Durojaye, said the emergence of the financial institution was a product of eight years study of the sub-sector, having been involved in other forms of businesses revolving around micro and small enterprises and financing.
“In our target areas, we know many of the people are bank shy, but with our model and mass marketing strategy, we would rave up the market and provide access to finance our customers with ease. “We are in partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank for now, in the area of correspondent banking. The agreement is that every customer of our bank can withdraw money from their account and as well put money in their account in any of the 300 branches of the bank.
“All our customers are immediately included in the MasterCard, such that wherever they are in Nigeria and outside the country, they can have access to their account, without the protocol of coming to the head office or branch for transactions.
“This is important because people believe that once you put your money in microfinance bank, you should forget about it since they have only one or two branches where you can make transactions and that does not apply to us, especially for those who go to other states to conduct their business and may not want to carry their cash around,” he said.
He pointed out that now that the economy is tough, its model will surely become a toast in their target market, as commercial banks are currently facing the international headwinds and major monetary policy issues, which have limited their interests in small businesses. According to him, in the next five years, the bank would become a national financial institution, starting with a target of national licence in the three years from now and spreading the branch network to the six geopolitical zones, adding that its product offering on hand is capable of helping it achieve the goal.
In the area of interest rate, Durojaye said the bank would offer competitive rates both to lending and deposits, but noted that to some extent, the challenge in the development of small businesses is not basically lending rates, rather access to finance, especially for viable ideas that are left unsupported. However, he admitted that the bank would not embark on lending without proper monitoring and support for the business to thrive and make returns that are capable of meeting the loan obligations. Noting that many of the loans in the sub-sector fail because of diversions, he said that effective risk management strategy has been put in place, which would monitor accounts to flag any trace of non-performance earlier, together with a functional recovery unit as well.
Microfinance Banks Will Lift SMEs - LCCI, ETMfB - By ‘Femi Asu(Punch Newspaper) View source
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the newly licensed Empire Trust Microfinance Bank have highlighted the role of microfinance banks in enhancing access to finance for the Small and Medium Enterprises.
The President, LCCI President, Alhaji Remi Bello, who spoke at the opening of the ETMfB in, stressed the importance of access to finance in the development of small businesses. He said the LCCI was happy with the promoters of the financial institution and would identify with any effort directed at boosting the activities of SMEs especially in the area of finance.
“Lack of access to credit by small and micro enterprises has been identified as a major reason for the growing level of poverty in many developing countries. This further underscores the crucial role of microfinance institutions in the economic growth and development process, especially in their service to small businesses,” he said.
The LCCI chief urged the ETMfB to focus on entrepreneurs who were often denied access to financial services by the commercial banks on account of their inability to provide collateral for credit facilities. “Microfinance banks have therefore become one of the reliable sources of financial services for small and micro enterprises. The promotion of microfinance in Nigeria is a key component of financial inclusion strategy of the CBN. The delivery of financial services at affordable costs to small businesses will also facilitate the attraction of large chunk of funds in the informal sector into the financial system and contribute to monetary policy effectiveness. “The operational challenges of microfinance banks in Nigeria would still have to be contended with, which include liquidity shortcomings, monetary policy uncertainty, loan defaults, infrastructure issues and the lingering harsh business environment.
We are happy that these limiting factors, notwithstanding, the ETMfB has today joined the league of the many microfinance banks in Nigeria,” he added. On his part, the Managing Director of ETMfB, Mr. Seun Durojaye, said the emergence of the financial institution was a product of eight years study of the sub-sector, having been involved in other forms of businesses revolving around micro and small enterprises and financing.
ETMB, Stanbic IBTC Bank partner on quick service delivery - By Sharma(Nigerian Pilot) View source
Empire Trust Microfinance Bank, ETMB says it has partnered with Stanbic IBTC Bank to quicken service delivery to customers in all its branches nationwide. Managing Director of ETMB, Mr Seun Durojaiye, who made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN in Lagos said the partnership would enable ETMB customers to deposit or withdraw funds from Stanbic IBTC Bank in any part of the country. He said the aim was to quicken service delivery to its customers and ignite their passion in micro-banking system. According to him, inaccessibility to timely financial services sometimes weakens the passion of a customer in banking services. Durojaiye said that the innovation was the product of over seven years of study by the ETMB team. He said: “ETMB wants to change the entire microfinance industry by embarking on mass marketing strategy by providing access to finance for our customers with ease. We are in partnership with Stanbic IBTC Bank for now in the area of correspondent banking. “The agreement is that every customer of our bank can withdraw money from their account from Stanbic IBTC Bank. “They can as well put money in their account in any of the 300 branches of the bank”, the managing director explained. According to Durojaiye, every customer of the bank has a MasterCard with which he or she can transact banking business either within or outside the country. “This is a major innovation because people believe that once you put your money in a microfinance bank, you should forget about it since it has only one or two branches. “This does not apply to us, especially for those who go to other states to conduct their businesses and may not want to carry cash with them,’’ he said.