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Heritage Bank Launches Free Collateral Loan Scheme For SMEs

Sunny Obidigbo

Heritage Bank has launched a new Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) finance package called the Paris Klub SME (PKS) Scheme.

The bank stated that with the package, it is determined to financially assist the small businesses in Nigeria, adding that the scheme is designed to support lending without core collaterals.

The scheme which follows up on the bank’s highly successful Micro Small and Medium Enterprise (MSME) clinic, is aimed at improving the dwindling fortune of the economy as well as render support to retail businesses.

Speaking on the economic challenges, as well as the difficult times experienced by an estimated 17 million SMEs in Nigeria; out of which only about 10 percent have access to finance, the managing director of Heritage Bank, Ifie Sekibo, said there was no better time to support the SMEs than now.

“This is why we introduced the Paris Klub SME (PKS) Scheme to support lending without core collateral. We take pride in our hybrid solutions where borrowing customers gain access to more value added services including consulting, business tools and technology.

“What we have done is to bring up an innovative idea of how to finance SMEs without collateral. Once we identify the SMEs, we offer advisory services to them, we help them to structure their businesses and also with their cash flows.”

Heritage Bank is currently developing a sponsored interest scheme for the educational sector where educational institutions can borrow at low rate subsidized by the scheme manager, Sekibo said. He added that the bank is also discussing partnership programs with Venture Capital Firms to introduce debtequity financing option.

He highlighted lending money to a largely unstructured SME Sector as a major reason why banks noted that one major reason why banks were not funding SMEs.

However, he said Heritage Bank has come up with a strategy to de-risk SMEs and make them more bankable.

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