Accion MFB Considers Customers’ Plight, Out With Low Interest Products
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Customers of microfinance banks have regularly lamented high interest rates from most facilities accessed from the banks, signalling the growing yearning for a more competitive market.
Accion Micro Finance Bank, concerned by these complains, and with a view to creating a consumer friendly environment, has come out with cheaper and low interest rate products, to meet the needs of its customers.
Nwanna Joel-Ezeugo, chief commercial officer of the bank, explains that the bank has a product called ‘My own Extra,’ which is a loan account where the interest rate has been reduced.
In order to serve its customers better, the bank says it will in 2012 introduce Automotive Teller Machine (ATM), cheques and mobile banking among other measures.
In an interview with BusinessDay recently, Bunmi Lawson, managing director of the bank, said, “In 2012, we expect our portfolio to grow. So far, we have disbursed N9 billion in loans to over 23,000 customers and you know that some of them are repeat loans. Now, we have 12,000 borrowers and 60,000 savers.
“Next year, we expect to grow. Our plan is actually to have a total of all the areas we are and the achievement of another half of the areas we have not touched. We are hoping to open 18 branches next year and loan disbursement with an active portfolio of about N2 billion plus. We are committed to that.”
Speaking about foreign investors’ interest in microfinance banks, she said a lot of people approached directors of Accion and many are talking to the association, looking at areas they can invest in as part owners.