By Mark Kawalya
Stanbic Bank is seeking new ways of doing business. The financial institution, which is Uganda’s largest publicly listed lender, has developed new credit schemes to serve the public better. Anne Jjuuko, the Chief Executive Officer, intimated the banks’ interest in extending credit beyond the scope of salaried individuals who have almost been fully serviced.
“We know that the customer we served 10 years ago and the one we are serving now have fundamentally changed. In the past, one would visit a branch manager, but now one no longer needs to come to the bank,” she said. “In the past, one would write a loan application to the bank and wait for a long time. That has changed. The process is much faster now. We are in the age of urgency, of immediacy and of digital self-service. One can now get a Stanbic personal loan in under two minutes for an existing customer via our digital channels. “
Jjuuko added that Stanbic is establishing partnerships and collaborations with different savings and credit cooperative societies, and groups like health workers.
According to Jjuuko, Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) are the key ingredients in the bank’s financial inclusion agenda. The lender has started the Economic Enterprise Restart Fund, which provides loans at lower interest rates to SACCOs for lending to members at a rate that is lower than the 12.5% per annum.
Currently, more than 150 SACCOs have received this type of funding, impacting more than 220 beneficiaries since 2020. “Our dream is that this fund will reach US$100 million, benefiting 10million Ugandans in the next five years,” Jjuuko said.
From August 2020 and December 2021, 150 SACCOS with a total membership of 220,463 people have shared Shs18bn that was lent out to these SACCOs. Additionally, borrowers are given financial management training.
Owing to the economic disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the loans offer a lifeline for vulnerable businesses to financially recover.
Stanbic launched the SACCO support proposition starting with Eastern Uganda. Juuko, said “We are very excited to be going back to our roots of being the people’s bank. What we seek to do in this new SACCOs offering is to share our years of expertise and build capacity of the SACCOs to operate at the same level of excellence and in a modern manner. In addition to giving them loans at affordable interest, we will also train them to use our online platforms like Flexipay so that they can handle their finances better. They will also benefit from insurance packages that we are offering as a bank.”