Her­itage fi­nanc­ing of SMEs hits N100bn by 2016

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS - By Chris Agabi

Her­itage Bank has said it is in­creas­ing its lend­ing to Small and Medium Scale En­ter­prises (SMEs) to N100 bil­lion by the end of 2016.

If this oc­curs, Her­itage bank may be the big­gest in­vestor on SMEs in less than four years.

Al­ready, Her­itage Bank has sup­ported SMEs to the tune of N23.5bn within the two and a half year of its ex­is­tence.

Head of SME Prod­uct, Con­cept, Ideas and De­vel­op­ment, Her­itage Bank, Mr. Ekene Mad­u­ake dis­closed this at the an­nual con­fer­ence of Fi­nance Cor­re­spon­dents As­so­ci­a­tion of Nige­ria (FICAN).

Speak­ing on Her­itage Bank’s per­spec­tive on the theme of the con­fer­ence, ‘Banks and SMEs in Nige­ria: Prospects, Chal­lenges and Suc­cess Sto­ries,” Madueke said that “by the end of the 2016 fi­nan­cial year, we in­tend to grow this vol­ume to about a N100bn.”

He dis­closed that based on the un­der­stand­ing that SMEs are the en­gine of growth in any econ­omy, the bank has sup­ported var­i­ous sec­tors in the SME space, es­pe­cially those that have the po­ten­tial of cre­at­ing more em­ploy­ment in the sys­tem.

“We have sup­ported SMEs op­er­a­tors in the area of bot­tled wa­ter pro­duc­tion, print­ing com­pa­nies, bev­er­ages, those in the agri­cul­tural sec­tor and other op­er­a­tors in the SME space,” he stated.

One area where Her­itage Bank has helped SME op­er­a­tors is how to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween a com­pany’s busi­ness op­er­a­tional cash flow and that of per­sonal cash flow. “We do this to en­hance shared value, be­cause as their busi­nesses get bet­ter, we also get bet­ter as a bank. It is also another way of reach­ing the un­banked,” he stated.

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