We’re committed to supporting SMEs, building economy…Access Bank

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From Uche Usim, Abuja

The Deputy Managing Director of Access Bank Plc, Victor Etuokwu, on Tuesday reassured its heterogeneous customers that the financial institution remained committed to meeting their desires, especially in supporting Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to succeed and help create jobs and ultimately boost the economy.

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Etuokwu gave the assurance in Abuja at an evening meeting tagged “Conversation with the DMD”, designed for the bank’s SME customers in the north.

According to him, the north remains a strategic business environment for the bank, adding that plans were afoot to get more customers up north into the financial sector.

He added that Access Bank, over the years, has designed products and services suitable for various existing SMEs and start-ups, urging its customers to visit Access Bank branches to discuss their financial challenges; to allow the bank to determine how it can intervene.

He said: “The bank remains resolute in its drive to engage and empower SMEs by providing access to funds, markets and knowledge and that objective is at the heart of the Business engagement sessions in key cities across the nation.

“We have organized this engagement session to provide an opportunity to meet one on one with our SME customers in Abuja, provide them with a platform to ask questions, get answers and solutions that helps them take their businesses to the next level. We are committed to being a bank that gives More to our customers and that includes- MORE listening and MORE Engagement and this forum allows us to meet up to that promise.

“We intend to be more present and relevant in the lives of our customers than ever, and we want to ensure business owners have easy access to funds to sustain and expand their businesses. We are committed to providing excellent services both online and offline to meet the varied needs of all our customers and creating impact in the lives of both individual, MSME and SME customers alike”.

On the bank’s plans for women, the DMD urged women entrepreneurs to visit the nearest branch with bankable proposals to secure needed facility to turn their dreams to reality.

Etuokwu added: “We are open and determined to support SMEs. But we don’t give grants. Our loans are not grants. They’re loans.

“However, we are open to discussions on how to help fund excellent proposals that will help create jobs and make the country better. We are a people-centric bank. We listen to the yearnings of our customers at all times”, he said.

On allegations by a customer who claimed it took him weeks to open an account at Access Bank, the DMD said it was practically impossible as account opening processes and procedures are swift and seamless once all vital information is supplied by the customer.

“We are here for our customers. We listen to them and understand their needs”, he said.

On dollar availability for customers, he said the bank would continue to do everything within its powers to meet customers’ dollar needs.

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