Ivory Coast: An expert urges banks to adapt to the specific needs of SMEs

Oct 26, 2012

The chief executive of Ivorian bank Versus has urged banks to set up innovative finance mechanisms adapted to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to improve their access to credit.

The chief executive of Ivorian bank Versus has urged banks to set up innovative finance mechanisms adapted to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in a bid to improve their access to credit.

According to Guy Koizan, who spoke last week at the African Economic Forum Abidjan, SMEs are currently struggling to access finance because the default risk is often considered too high by banks, but also because financial institutions do not cater for the specific needs of this type of business, Fraternite Matin reports.

He called on banks to follow the example of Versus Bank, which allocates more than half of its loans to SMEs, thanks to the establishment of a division specifically dedicated to smaller businesses and the creation of structured finance programmes.

"SMEs are a source of growth and employment. They must be part of a rigorous management and sustainability dynamic," he said, quoted by Xinhua news agency.

Mr Koizan also called for an improvement in the institutional and regulatory framework, for a stronger public-private partnership and for an improvement in the regulatory framework for venture capital.

According to figures published by Xinhua, SMEs account for more than 98 per cent of businesses in the country and contribute to around 18 per cent of GDP.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801477172-ADNFCR