First City Monument Bank (FCMB), a foremost financial services provider in Nigeria, has been voted as the Best SME Bank in Africa. The Bank won the prestigious award at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional Awards held virtually on November 5, 2020. The development is another confirmation of FCMB's outstanding performance in offering exceptional services, including funding, capacity building and other value-added supports, to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs).
The Asian Banker is an authoritative platform for strategic business information for the financial services industry worldwide. The annual awards organised by the firm is one of the most comprehensive, transparent and respected in the industry covering the full spectrum of topics and areas that constitute the financial services system.
According to the Asian Banker, FCMB emerged as the Best SME Bank in Africa following: "Series of online surveys across the region to gather feedback from thousands of customers per market. In the survey, we also asked customers to rate how well their main Banks have helped them during the crisis. The results and rankings are a true reflection of the voice of the customers".
The organisers further stated that: "FCMB has introduced various digital initiatives into the SMEs segment, such as digital loan products (Quick loans) and its New Mobile banking platform. In addition, the Bank launched a platform, which was a first of its kind, to help women-owned businesses scale up, by leveraging access to financing schemes, mentorship programmes, as well as training and networking opportunities. FCMB has equally helped SMEs to enhance capacity, thereby improving their business operations, connect with peers and access to trusted service professionals. The Bank has a 25% market share in the SME business, and in 2019 had more than 300,000 new accounts in this segment. We commend FCMB for its incredible contributions towards ensuring the growth and sustainable development of SMEs within the region".
Commenting on the award, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mr Adam Nuru, described it as another milestone and a clear demonstration that the various strategic initiatives and solutions offered by the Bank are yielding the desired results and appreciated in Nigeria and internationally.
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According to him: "We are excited to have been recognised by the Asian Banker for our market-leading propositions and support to SMEs, which continue to make a real impact on businesses and the economy in general. This award is another validation that we are on track in our customer-centric approach to financial services delivery. We will continue to expand the frontiers of our innovation and go the extra mile to deploy offerings that consistently enhance the customer experience. We thank the Asian Banker and the respondents for considering us worthy as the Best SME Bank in Africa. We dedicate this award to our customers who have made FCMB what it is today.”
Speaking while receiving the award, the Executive Director, Business Development, FCMB, Mrs Bukola Smith, stated that: "As a resilient, inclusive and responsive institution, we have continued to deploy solutions to transform the challenges posed by COVID-19 to opportunities for our customers by leveraging on our robust technology, digital transformation drive and highly professional team. Our SME Banking offerings have significantly changed lives through job and wealth creation, among other benefits. This is because we believe that the only way we can succeed is when our customers succeed. We are very proud to be the Best SME Bank in Africa, particularly coming after KPMG rated us as the Best SME Bank in Nigeria in the 2019 Nigeria Banking Industry Customer Experience Survey report. This latest award will undoubtedly inspire us to perform better”.
For more information about FCMB and its propositions for SMEs, please visit www.fcmb.com/business-banking.