Because the main SME financial institution in Côte d’Ivoire, Bridge Financial institution Group is driving financial growth via tailor-made financing for the nation’s fast-growing SME phase. Adonis Seka, Deputy Managing Director of Bridge Financial institution Group Côte d’Ivoire, discusses the financial institution’s profitable technique, service growth and threat administration amid rising SME demand for finance.
World Finance: How do international and regional financial elements affect the demand for SME finance in Côte d’Ivoire?
Adonis Seka: Ivorian SMEs, like companies all over the world, endure from fluctuating prices of imported supplies, freight and worldwide logistics. Because the COVID-19 pandemic, these prices have skyrocketed, with costs tripling in some instances. There have been additionally lengthy delays within the provide chain.
Because of these international elements, our SME shoppers have an growing want for import financing to safe provides to proceed their manufacturing or distribution actions. They’re additionally searching for funding to deal with rising working prices and relative decline in profitability.
GF: How is Bridge Financial institution increasing its SME services in response to altering demand?
HOW: Bridge Financial institution’s conventional working capital finance providing to SME shoppers has been expanded to incorporate commerce finance merchandise akin to international foreign money promissory notes and documentary letters of credit score to allow SME shoppers to safe cross-border procurement transactions whereas assuring them of cost phrases in in keeping with their receipts.
We now have additionally organized coaching periods for SME shoppers to assist them entry the Central Financial institution’s refinancing window and acquire cheaper international alternate for his or her provides. The rising price of supplies is a decisive issue within the competitiveness of our small and medium-sized companies.
Bridge Financial institution additionally provides money administration options aimed toward small and medium-sized companies, akin to verify readers and money dispensers to make day-to-day money administration simpler. SME shoppers additionally use our on-line cost providers to pay payroll, common suppliers, social safety contributions and taxes.
GF: Which segments of Bridge Financial institution’s SME clientele are the quickest rising?
HOW: Traditionally, the strongest SME development has been within the retail and industrial sectors. Meals imports, import and sale of development gear and first processing of native uncooked supplies are additionally very dynamic sectors in Côte d’Ivoire.
GF: How does Bridge Financial institution assist SMEs overcome difficulties in acquiring financing?
HOW: For SMEs, the principle limitations to accessing finance embody uneven data, lack of economic transparency and reliability of economic reporting, and inadequate collateral.
Our evaluation takes into consideration not solely the SME’s efficiency, but additionally its portfolio and observe file. The last word objective is to offer credit score to SMEs primarily based on numerous standards along with the stability sheet.
Bridge Financial institution makes use of unbiased instruments to entry an organization’s monetary data and solvency to acquire a extra lifelike image of a shopper for funding functions than we may get hold of utilizing a shopper’s monetary knowledge alone.
As well as, the African Assure Fund (AGF), our institutional accomplice and third-party guarantor, has elevated the assure dimension of our portfolio from 10 billion CFA francs to fifteen billion CFA francs. This allowed us to extend financing for SMEs whereas sharing our dangers.
GF: How does Bridge Financial institution handle the dangers related to its SME technique?
HOW: Bridge Financial institution attracts on its confirmed data of practices on this phase, which it has maintained for over 17 years. We now have developed a personalized strategy that mixes borrower and undertaking evaluation to offer financing options that aren’t primarily based solely on the SME’s stability sheet. We additionally bear in mind the worldwide setting and operational realities of every shopper.
As well as, we carefully monitor our shoppers to determine weaknesses at an early stage and work with them to develop applicable options. This strategy limits the variety of defaults and preserves the standard of our portfolio.
Dedication is considered one of Bridge Financial institution’s core values and we’re dedicated to assembly the present and rising financing wants of our shoppers. Our energy within the SME phase lies in our flexibility and skill to offer personalized options at each stage of every shopper’s growth.