SunTrust Bank Pledges More Support for MSMEs

Sunday Ehigiator

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of SunTrust Bank, Mr. Ayo Babatunde has revealed that the bank is committed to supporting the growth of micro, small and medium scale enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria.

Babatunde, also said the bank aims to grow its customer base to 20 million by 2022.

He made this known during the launch of a digital branch by the bank at Idumota, Lagos, recently.

 He said: “Our DNA is to be an MSME bank that would energise commerce in Nigeria. The focus of the bank is actually MSME, which means we will start from micro, to small and medium scale enterprises. We believe that, that is what is going to galvanise the economy.”

Speaking further, he said: “We have a couple of products which are basically addressing issues peculiar to the micro. So from your phone, we can grant you a loan immediately. Just by dialling *5230# you get it. We call those once micro loans.”

“Not only do we focus on giving loans, we also have many collection platforms that can allow you deposit your money. The normal issues customers have with banks are the services of banks, but we have taken it one more step to customer experience.”

He added: “We want the customer to experience what new way banking is. So, with the way we structured and set out, it is how we impact lives and the citizenry completely and we know people need loans, we know people need access to their monies, and we have tried to do that seamlessly.”

On benefits of banking with Suntrust, he said saving with the bank yields higher returns for customers.

“In a normal savings account, you get 3.8 per cent interest rate on the savings, but we have upped it a little bit to say, if you double your savings within a month, we can actually give you 7.77 percent on your savings.

 “The interest is based on the credit quality of the customer. But if on your mobile phone, without checking on your credit quality, but on your spending, we can grant you an instant loan at 15 percent interest rate. And the repayment stretches between 15 to 90 days. So that also takes convenience to the people.”

Commenting on the bank’s presence in Nigeria as well as its goal, he said “The bank itself started from Abuja. We are still in Abuja with two branches. And we took a regional banking license that allows us to expand to the south-south, which today we have a physical branch in Port-Harcourt, Uyo, and Idumota-Lagos.”

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