Access Bank, German Firms Unveil Platform to Boost Trade

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Access Bank Plc, Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG) and the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria (AHKNigeria) are offering a new financial support and solution services named: “German Desk, for German and Nigerian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).

The initiative which is expected to commence today, would have its operational base in the bank’s head office in Lagos, and would cover areas such as setting up of accounts, providing short to medium-term credit lines, services for financing trade and transaction banking.

Also to be covered in the platform includes financing solutions for local companies wishing to acquire German equipment or services.

As part of the co-operation, DEG has put its network at the disposal of the respective local partner banksand, where necessary, would provide it with additional long-term capital. This would allow them offer financial support to local customers of German companies.

Neighbouring markets are also to be covered with the partner banks’ networks.

Speaking at the launch of the partnership agreement signing ceremony in Lagos, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Dr. Herbert Wigwe, said the bank was constantly searching for innovative ways to provide solutions to meet its customers’ needs.

He said the German Desk would serve as a financial intermediary between German organisations, Nigerian-based German business enterprises and local businesses that would benefit from the facilities and advisory services that would be provided through the platform.

“We’re going to help hand-hold, nurture and bring German companies that are coming to do business in Nigeria so that they will come in and do things properly. “We will also support Nigerian businesses that are going to Germany so that they can go and do businesses properly and, so that we can have a strong relationship between our respective partners,” Wigwe said.

He added: “This desk which will be bi-lingual will provide customised long term and cost effective financial solutions to our clients available to conduct business with German corporates. This we believe will boost positively the trade relations between Germany and Nigeria at large,” he added.

He stressed that the project would strengthen the relationship with its partners and translate into greater relationship between the countries involved, noting that it would as well, create an inter-link or inter-mobile economy between Nigeria and Germany.

On his part, Chairman, Management Board, DEG, Mr. Bruno Wenn, said: “Jointly with our customers, Access Bank, DEG wishes to support Germancompanies and their trading partners.

“Within the scope of the ‘German Desk – Financial Support and Solutions’, we offer innovative financing solutions tailored to the needs of German companies and their local partners.

“They can get information about financial services from a single source and make direct use of the partners’ network on location,” he said.

Also speaking, representative of AHK Nigeria, Dr. Marc Lucassen, said the platform would help to fill the gap that had been in existence in the Nigerian-German business relations.

“We are very much in favour of this landmark partnership which provides the required solutions to recent demand for additional financial support mechanism for the Nigerian-German businessrelations. “Our role is to connect the Nigerian-German business partners to the German Desk in Access Bank in terms of financial solutions,” Lucassen added.