First City Monument Bank (FCMB), through EasyAgents, its agency banking network and other channels, has empowered one million financially excluded Nigerians
As part of its financial inclusion programme, the bank has provided microloans worth N40 billion to over 300,000 beneficiaries, comprising 200,000 women traders who have accessed over $51.28 million (N28.7 billion) of the total loan sum.
The Managing Director, FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, said: “We are proud of our significant role in integrating Nigeria’s huge informal economy driven by small-scale farmers, traders, artisans, and other small and medium-sized businesses into the formal economy through affordable and sustainable access to financial services. Access to financial services enables prosperity and allows disadvantaged and vulnerable people to improve their lives, create wealth and reduce poverty. So, we will continue championing and executing initiatives that deepen access to affordable and sustainable financial services in our local communities to empower individuals and businesses.”
In driving financial inclusion, FCMB embraced partnerships as critical success criteria. Last year, the bank partnered the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) to deepen agency banking and financial inclusion by rolling out an integrated savings account – ‘Easy Account’- to empower two million farmers by 2023. Under the first phase of the partnership, covering over 150,000 unbanked and under-banked farmers across five states, beneficiaries are provided funds and training support through agricultural agents operating under FCMB’s agency banking proposition. The states are Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun and Oyo. In addition, FCMB also recently signed an agreement with Shee-Coops to provide funding to women in the next five years
FCMB has invested about 10,000 agency bankers that bring financial services to the streets and doorsteps of millions of Nigerians in peri-urban and rural areas. They are driving the onboard of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians.
Bank accounts are being opened through agency bankers. As a result, they conveniently and securely make cash deposits, transfer funds, make withdrawals, obtain loans, buy airtime, and pay bills, among other financial transactions. In addition, they also have opportunities to access the bank’s agric value chain platform (EasyClub) and microloans to boost their standard of living and grow businesses.
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