To boost savings in country through agency banking, better links with agribusiness
>> Learn more about Scale2Save programme
LAGOS, 12 November 2018 – First City Monument Bank (FCMB) is set to massively increase its support to agribusiness, its value chain and growth of the Nigerian economy after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI). The memorandum outlines a framework to deepen agency banking, financial inclusion and savings culture in the country.
According to the memorandum, the project involves FCMB rolling out an integrated savings account – named 'Kampe Account' – to offer credit and other financial services to 150,000 unbanked and under-banked farmers across five states through agricultural agents operating under the bank's agency banking proposition. The first set of states to benefit are Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun and Oyo.
In addition to offering a range of financial products to farmers, FCMB plans to deploy its state-of-the art technology and alternate channel solutions, including Point of Sales, FCMBMobile and the USSD code to drive the project mainly in the rural and sub-urban farm settlements where most farmers are based. The bank will also organise capacity-building programmes for farmers aimed at facilitating their understanding of the sector and promote innovative ideas that would make the sector attractive, such as job creation that would in turn, impact on productivity and income.
Commenting on the initiative and support from WSBI under the Scale2Save programme, FCMB Managing Director and Chief Executive of Mr. Adam Nuru noted the development will revolutionise agribusiness – one of the various empowerment strategies adopted by the bank that is appreciated by stakeholders within and outside Nigeria. Mr. Nuru said: “Partnering with WSBI and harnessing the business model we have developed to drive it, under our Kampe Account, takes a sustainable approach when assisting farmers to gain better access to finance and other resources needed to help farmers drive a successful business."
Nigerian smallholder farmers have been disadvantaged due to several factors including land fragmentation, inadequate farming equipment, broken value chains, poor access to finance, inadequate cash flow, lack of extension services including limited access to good markets to create low economies of scale that systemically keep farmers in a cycle of poverty. FCMB and WSBI are optimistic that these challenges will be addressed.
Mr. Nuru added: “Farmers who benefit from this effort can and should make the best use of the opportunity. FCMB will continue to partner with WSBI to create opportunities that would ensure the realisation of personal and business needs of customers."
WSBI Managing Director Chris De Noose concluded: “The Kampe Savings Project is yet another example of the innovative ways rural communities can flourish through mobile savings and beyond. Expanding banking access and agricultural services through mobile to farmers, which increasingly includes more women, can help knock out any doubt about the payoff that farming can bring."
The World Savings and Retail Banking Institute (WSBI), founded in 1924, represents the interests of 6,000 savings and retail banks globally, with total assets of $15 trillion and serving some 1.3 billion customers in nearly 80 countries (as of 2016). The Institute focuses on international regulatory issues that affect the savings and retail banking industry. It supports the achievement of sustainable, inclusive, balanced growth and job creation, whether in industrialised or less developed countries.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited is a member of FCMB Group Plc, which is one of the leading financial services institutions in Nigeria with subsidiaries that are market leaders in their respective segments. Having successfully transformed to a retail and commercial banking-led group, FCMB expects to continue to distinguish itself by delivering exceptional services.
Scale2Save is a partnership between WSBI and Mastercard Foundation to establish the viability of small-scale savings in six African countries that includes Nigeria. The six-year programme aims for 1 million more people banked in those countries through projects using innovative models.