First City Monument Bank (FCMB) has clinched the award of the “Most Outstanding SMEs Friendly and Sponsorship Commercial Bank of the Year’’. The award, which was conferred on the Bank during this year’s Entrepreneur Business Summit (EBS) held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State between October 7 and 9, 2015, is in recognition of the various financial and other value-added supports which the financial institution provides to Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs).
Tagged Governor Nyesom Wike (of Rivers state) EBS/SMEs award 2015, it was instituted by I-Contact Connect Communication Limited, organisers of the annual entrepreneurs summit, to reward the very best corporate organisations that contributes significantly to the growth of SMEs in Nigeria. This year’s summit, with the theme, ‘’Meet the SMEs, the Open Minded Entrepreneur’’, brought together about 2,000 MSMEs from all over the country. Also in attendance were policymakers, bankers, academics and other stakeholders from the public and private sectors who discussed key issues and solutions that would boost the growth of SMEs and in turn deepen their contributions to the growth of the economy.
According to the organisers of the summit, FCMB emerged as the “Most Outstanding SMEs Friendly and Sponsorship Commercial Bank of the Year, based on the Bank’s, ‘’integrity, uncommon SMEs drive, creativity and dominant leadership qualities’’.
Commenting on the development, FCMB’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said that the Bank is pleased to have won the award and would continue to scale-up its support to SMEs in line with its value as a simple, reliable and helpful financial institution. ‘’This award is a welcome development and shows that the various initiatives and supports we provide to SMEs are yielding the desired results and are being appreciated by not just our customers, but other stakeholders’’, he stated.
Mr. Balogun added that this latest award will, ‘’inspire us to get better. As an inclusive lender, we will sustain our investment towards the rapid growth of SMEs, because we realise the pivotal roles they play in the socio-economic development of the country’’.
The EBS/SMEs award is coming barely three months after FCMB was rated by KPMG, a leading international consulting firm, as the 4th most customer-focused bank in SMEs with a score of 74.94 percent following a survey conducted by the firm among bank customers nationwide. The rating, as contained in the 2015 report of the KPMG Banking Industry Customer Satisfaction Survey (BICSS), was on the basis of Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI), which took into account convenience, product/service offering, executional excellence, and value for money and customer care
Analysts have described FCMB’s support to SMEs as one of the most significant in the country. As one of the banks appointed by the Central Bank of Nigeria for the disbursement of the N220billion Micro, Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) Funding scheme, FCMB has so far disbursed about N1.3billion to such businesses.
Moreover, the Bank has enhanced its lending strategy to SMEs by introducing a new and separate SME credit policy tailored to suit the needs of the various businesses and value chains in the MSMEs space. FCMB equally has dedicated lending officers in its branches in order to bring services closer to SMEs.