By Charles Abuede
First City Monument Bank (FCMB), a foremost financial services provider in Nigeria, has been voted the ‘Best SME Bank in Africa’, at the Asian Banker Middle East and Africa Regional Awards held virtually last week.
The annual award, which was organised by the Asian Banker to recognise what it described as the bank’s “unequalled commitment and outstanding performance in offering exceptional services”.
FCMB bagged the award, the award panel said, after a series of surveys across the region from several small businesses from different markets showed how well the bank has helped customers during the crisis, adding that “the results and rankings are a true reflection of customers’ voices”.
In a statement announcing the award and made available to Business A.M., Asian Bankersaid FCMB has introduced various digital initiatives into the SMEs segments, including digital loan products (Quickloans) and its New Mobile banking platform, adding that in addition to these, it had launched a first-of-its-kind platform 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 per cent 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,” the award organisers stated.
An elated Adam Nuru, FCMB’s managing director, described the award as another milestone and a clear demonstration that the various strategic initiatives and solutions offered by the bank is yielding the desired results and appreciated in Nigeria and internationally. Nuru also revealed that the award is good for the bank thereby consolidating its position as the dominant financial institution in the segment.
“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 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,” Nuru said.
Bukola Smith, business development executive at FCMB, also said at the event 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,” Bukola outlined.
FCMB, a leading financial institution in Nigeria with over 200 branches spread across the country, has over the years built a strong customer base and has also dominated the SMEs space by continuous service offerings and cutting-edge solutions through its key pillars of support.