The Consolidated Bank of Ghana (CBG) has instituted the CBG Credit Risk Management Academy in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana for unimpeded access and low cost of credit for SMEs. The Academy will focus on building the requisite knowledge and skills in Credit Management for its staff and also strategically position the Bank to give the right credit advice in a timely manner to grow businesses. Mr Daniel Wilson Addo, Managing Director of CBG, speaking at the launch of the Academy said preparations to realize the vision begun last year, when the Bank resolved to stand with Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) businesses during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said as part of the Bank's strategy, "we have ring-fenced more than GHS120 million in funding to the SME sector this year." The Managing Director said the Bank earlier this month entered into an agreement with the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) through the granting of a $50 million facility to support Ghana's road infrastructure development. He said to judiciously use the EBID line of credit which was underpinned by a national and international framework on sustainable development and environmental protection, the Bank instituted the Academy. He said their partnership with an accredited institute to deliver this best in class Academy also enjoined the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana to fulfil its mandate of promoting the study of banking and regulate the practice of the banking profession in Ghana as per Section 2 of the Chartered Institute of Bankers Ghana, Act 2019 (Act 991). "To build our resilience in this COVID-19 era, the Academy focuses on furthering the Bank's ability to do new things and improve on what we currently do," he added. Mr Addo said the crux of developing their Staff was to improve their performance and enhance their ability to stay relevant in the rapidly changing environment. He commended the Governing Council and Mr. Charles Ofori-Acquah, the Chief Executive Officer of the Chartered Institute of Bankers, Ghana for making the vision a reality. He encouraged staff to take advantage of the Credit Risk Management Academy to develop themselves to increase confidence in the market by providing simple, secure and differentiated credit service to their customers. Mr Ofori-Acquah said the programme, which was certificated, would instruct and test competency outcome in technical, digital compliance as well as behavourial and strategic skill of participants in the area of Credit Management, Banking Operations and Retail Banking. He said those were the three broad areas of banking that would build the requisite expertise for the Bank to meet the demands of customers. He said the Institute had over the years trained practitioners through its Associate Chartered Bankers Programme to become Chartered Bankers and used their continuing Professional Development Programme to reskill and upskill them. He said in addition to the Associate Chartered Bankers Programme, the Institute saw certification of practitioners as the next step towards enhancing service delivery. The CEO said certification promoted credibility, self-image and encourage life-long learning and professional development.