By Hilary Mare
AREA Business Manager of FNB Namibia far north, Tomas Iindji has dispelled the notion that access to finance has become difficult saying that access to the finance is not a problem from FNB, but business case, viability, sustainability and affordability are key in this pursuit.
Speaking to Confidente this week, the banker who has been taking care of businesses in the northern regions expressed confidence in FNB’s financing system and invited businesses with good ideas to visit their branches countrywide for financial solutions such investments, credit facilities, wealth management, financial planning and advisory.
“We acknowledge that there is a notion that many of our people face financial access barriers that prevent them from participating in the economy and from improving their lives but the bank is working to promote financial inclusion for everyone to help achieve the objectives set out in the Harambee Prosperity Plan and other economic blueprints.
“Banking is a regulated industry; there are industry norms in terms of how responsible lending is done which goes hand in hand with protection of depositors whose funds banks lend out to borrowers.
“We pride ourselves in banking the top businesses and entrepreneurs, and continuously strive to develop the business community of the regions. We help entrepreneurs to empower themselves and put them in the driver seat of their businesses. FNB’s recent strong focus on Commercial Property Finance has helped many businesses to grow strategically, own their own buildings and improve their balance sheets. We believe in developing long-standing business partnerships that will help businesses reach their financial potential,” he said.
Over the years, SMEs have lamented on the barriers to accessing financing and it has been well documented that lowering these barriers to access and offering suitable financial products can allow households and small businesses to maximise the leverage of their savings or earnings for increased productivity, contributing to higher incomes, job-creation and, ultimately, growth.
In making this acknowledgement and affirming how FNB values the SME sector, Iindji said: “We strive to understand all our clients’ needs through the various phases of their business lifecycles – not only their banking needs, but also their investment, insurance and fiduciary needs are attended to. Our business strategy is executed by a unique operating structure of the FNB, RMB and WesBank brands, which provide innovative and sustainable value propositions to our corporate, business, consumer and premium segments. This is done through innovative products and channels such as e-Wallet, commercial/business loans, commercial property finance, franchising finance and automated deposit taking terminals, the FNB App and many other solutions. These products allow you, the business owner, to effectively manage business.”
He further stated that at FNB, the mission of the bank is to be a great Namibian business creating a better world through executing plans which are built on four Ps namely People, Partnerships, Planet and Profit.
“The Harambee Prosperity Plan also makes provision for the advancement in a number of sectors, which are embraced by this initiative, as it ensures social progression and infrastructure development. The advancement of all Namibians is an integral part of this plan and together we are able to achieve this goal.
“For this reason I would like to thank the Government and its Harambee Prosperity Plan which through its pillars will create national capacity and provide for conditions conducive for inclusive growth,” he explained.
Conclusively, Iindji explained that provision of access to financial services at FNB will stimulate the independence and self-development of poor households and micro-entrepreneurs though tax compliance on the part of the consumer remains pivotal.
“This will help not only to improve poor people’s economic condition, but also to provide a way to maintain or improve their quality of life in the face of uncertainty. Moreover, gaining access to financial services is a critical step in connecting the poor to a broader economic life and in building the confidence for them to play a role in the larger community.
“Cash flow can be a concern for growing businesses or businesses with slow-paying receivables but FNB Business provides a way to keep the cash flowing, even if invoices are not paid for 30 days or more. With better cash flow and more time, opportunities for growth will likely follow. Consumers will be able to buy new equipment, increase your staff or pursue new investment opportunities,” he concluded.
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