The Managing Director of Consolidated Bank Ghana (CBG) Limited, Mr Daniel Wilson Addo, has announced that CBG is expanding its Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SME) capabilities by partnering with the new Development Bank Ghana (DBG) to deliver technical and financial support to the sector.
Speaking to a section of the media on CBG’s agenda for SMEs this year, Mr Addo indicated that CBG had over the years delivered extensive support to SMEs and was keen on expanding its capabilities in the sector to tap into the opportunities that exist and to ensure an improved contribution from the SME sector to the economy of the country.
He said CBG defined SMEs as, small businesses with annual financial turnover of up to GH¢15m and medium businesses with turnover up to GH¢75 million. [KE(1]
According to him, “we have approached this in a holistic manner and it is just not to fund SMEs but to take the entire SME value chain and see how we can support businesses to operate more efficiently by unlocking cash that is trapped in receivables, facilitate collection for SMEs and importantly build capacity in the SME space.”
“We have done that through the products that we have rolled out and through the technology platforms that we have established. This allows SMEs to collect money through their mobile wallet and make deposits via mobile tellers deployed in the markets to collect cash from SMEs,” he said.
Mr Wilson said CBG had over the last couple of years increased its financial support to SMEs by disbursing over GH¢1.3 billion and also expanded its reach to them through its 114 branches across the country.
“These have been complemented by technological platforms which offer convenience and security to the Bank’s SMEs. For CBG, SMEs are a key population in its agenda to promote the economic development of Ghana. The introduction of DBG, therefore presents the Bank with the opportunity to offer that much-needed support which CBG has welcomed,” he said.
Mr Addo highlighted that, “DBG is a financial institution that was established to address very key challenges within the business community. That is the access to long term funding of SMEs that supports investments and growth. With a capital base of GH¢1.2 billion and counting, because there will be additional capital, we are confident that DBG is adequately capitalised to discharge the mandate that it has.”
On the partnership with DBG, Mr Addo indicated that CBG was delighted to work with DBG on the very laudable agenda of supporting SMEs, saying the “DBG will provide partial credit guarantees and these are innovative approaches to funding that will also broaden and deepen the whole financial ecosystem for CBG and SMEs.”
Mr Addo advised SMEs to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the introduction of DBG in order to grow and create more jobs.
He said CBG had 114 branches in 13 out of 16 regions in Ghana, which offers SMEs access to the Bank’s products and services.
That, CBG MD said, was in addition to the Bank’s SME Centre in Accra and digital channels.
Mr Addo disclosed that the Bank was positioning itself to play a major role in ensuring that SMEs took full advantage of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area’s opportunities.