Tunisia: The Bfpme strengthens its regional presence

Jan 16, 2013

The Bank for the financing of small and medium enterprises (Bfpme) has said it has strengthened its presence in each region of Tunisia.

The Bank for the financing of small and medium enterprises (Bfpme) has said it has strengthened its presence in each region of Tunisia.

Regional offices staff now stands at 20 per cent of the total Bfpme workforce, and is expected to reach 40 per cent by the end of 2013, Bfpme CEO Ammar Khalil told La Presse newspaper.

The institution - which has implemented a series of structural reforms since January 2011 - will also expand the powers of regional representations covering the whole credit cycle.

The Bank also said it is looking to manage public funds such as the Funds of Promotion and industrial Decentralisation (Foprodi) and the Incentive Scheme for Creativity and Innovation in ICT (RIICTIC) , subject to regulatory approval.

The Bfpme expects these measures to improve access to finance for Tunisian SMEs, which represent 95 per cent of businesses.

These companies often have difficulties accessing credit as they sometimes struggle to provide the guarantees required by commercial banks.

According to a 2011 report from the Union of Arab Banks and the World Bank called The status of lending in the Middle East and North Africa region, the ratio of loans to SMEs compared with all loans in Tunisia is 15 per cent, while in comparison, this figure is 24 per cent in Morocco.ADNFCR-2976-ID-801523420-ADNFCR