By Babajide Komolafe
Heritage Bank has offered funding support to small and medium enterprises at concessionary interest rate.
Executive Director, Ivory Banking, Heritage Bank, Mary Akpobome, disclosed this during the unveiling of the Heritage Bank SME Clinic in Lagos.
Responding to enquiries from one of the SME participants at the event about the interest rate and collateral conditions, Mary said, “We don’t charge commercial interest rate on loans to SMEs because we have a special fund dedicated to lending to SMEs.”
She also explained that Heritage Bank do give moratorium to SMEs for loan repayment, but the length and terms of the moratorium depends on the nature of the SMEs customer.
Corroborating this, Managing Director/Chief Executive, Heritage Bank, said that the bank does not require collateral from its SME customers.
“Borrowing as SMEs, you may not be able to produce the kind of collateral required for your kind of business, but when you are on our scheme, it becomes easy because our collective effort will secure your business. We just want you to go on this journey with us to feel comfortable that we are not just waking up to say join us and do this, we are working behind the scene to make sure we address those issues that are key.”
The bank used the event to unveil its Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Banking suite to the banking public. Among other things its offers, the Heritage MSME Banking offers to SMEs operators Zero Commission on Turnover (COT), free electronic Banking transactions, concessionary interest rate on loans and overdrafts. It also offers a pot pouri of credit facilities namely working overdraft, secured over draft, temporary over draft, finance leases, invoice discounting and local purchasing other financing.
Prior to developing the Heritage Bank MSME Banking suit, the bank established a MSME Clinic through which it offers free financial advisory services to address perceived capacity needs of SMEs .