Zambia: Standard Chartered Bank invests €224 million in SMEs
Standard Chartered Bank is to allocate US$300 million (€224 million) over the next couple of years to support the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.Standard Chartered Bank is to allocate US$300 million (€224 million) over the next couple of years to support the growth of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in the country.
The Bank's Managing Director Mizinga Melu said on Tuesday (February 5th) that the SME sector is a key player in the bank's financial performance – contributing to about 40 per cent of the consumer banking revenues and showing a 14 per cent year-on-year asset growth.
"Our aim as Standard Chartered Bank is very simple. We want to see a thriving and successful SME sector because we know that is the only way we can secure the long term sustainability of the bank," she said, quoted by the Times of Zambia.
She added the bank believed it was making a difference in Zambia and would achieve the task by fostering the creation of value adding partnerships and providing innovative products and services.
A survey conducted by the World Bank on Enterprise Development in Zambia identified poor access to finance as a major impediment to investment and growth in Zambia, The Citizen reports.
However, commercial banks in Zambia are slowly realising the importance of the SME sector. At the end of December 2011, commercial banks’ lending to SMEs was at 21 per cent of total loans, an improvement from 17 per cent in 2010.