FINCA, a global market leader in microfinance network, with 30 years of experience, and operating in 23 countries across Africa, Latin America, Eurasia and the Greater Middle East and serving 1.7 million clients, has launched its first branch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Limited in Nigeria.
Opened in Owerri, Imo State, Mike Gama-Lobo, vice president and regional director for FINCA Africa, said this followed the final approval of a licence by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), which was granted on October 30, 2014.
Gama-Lobo said, “Nigeria is the sixth African country in FINCA’s network, in addition to Uganda (since 1992), Malawi (since 1994), Tanzania (since 1998), Zambia (since 2001), and the Democratic Republic of Congo (since 2003).
“In all, FINCA serves nearly 700,000 low-income clients across Africa.”
Nigeria is an economic leader with largest continental Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a large population of hardworking, entrepreneurial people, he said, “yet, seven out of 10 adult Nigerians remain unbanked.”
The FINCA MfB Africa boss informed that FINCA was entering the Nigerian market with “an unconventional approach to banking,” which is “client-centric and mission based.”
“Our Nigerian clients can expect a difference from our team of professionals, who have deep local expertise blended with FINCA’s global best practices, delivered on the tenets of warmth, trust and responsible banking,” Gama-Lobo said.
The FINCA MfB will begin its operations with simple but innovative financial solutions – savings, term deposits and loan products – to help clients effectively manage their money, save for the future or grow their micro-business, he said.
“Services will be accessed through an efficient branch and non-branch network, staring in Owerri, Imo State, with expansion to other states in the near future,” the FINCA Africa regional director said.
The representative of the CBN branch controller in Imo State, Nkechi Osuji (head, development finance), encouraged Imo people to embrace the FINCA MfB, saying that it held brighter future for millions of rural and community entrepreneurs.
She asked the FINCA MfB management to undertake in Nigeria similar services they had done in the 23 other branches across the world.
Gama-Lobo also informed that as a pioneer microfinance industry for 30 years, FINCA had created opportunities for millions of low-income entrepreneurs through innovative lending practices and client support.
The FINCA MfB would be a community-based microfinance institution that would enable Nigerian individuals and communities to invest in the future, he said, adding that “we understand our clients’ needs and our aim is to develop products and services that put their welfare first.”
FINCA Microfinance Bank is a subsidiary of FINCA International, a leading microfinance organisation with headquarters in Washington DC, USA. It provides socially responsible financial services to help low-income people build assets, create jobs, and raise their standard of living.
These MfB subsidiaries are owned or controlled by FINCA Microfinance Holding Company LLC, a social investment partnership that includes majority owner FINCA International, as well as the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group, FMO (Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank), KfW (German Development Bank), Responsibility Ability, Triple Jump and Triodos.
SOURCE: Businessday Online
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