Thousands of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians to benefit from servicesOwerri, 4 December, 2014 – FINCA, a leading global microfinance network with operations in 23 countries, today officially launched the first branch of FINCA Microfinance Bank Ltd, in Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. This follows the final approval of a license by the Central Bank of Nigeria, which was granted on 30th October 2014. As a pioneer of the microfinance industry for 30 years, FINCA has created opportunities for millions of low-income entrepreneurs through innovative lending practices and client support. Nigeria is the sixth African country in FINCA’s network, in addition to Uganda (since 1992), Malawi (since 1994), Tanzania (since 1998), Zambia (since 2001) and Democratic Republic of Congo (since 2003). In total, FINCA reliably serves nearly 700,000 low-income clients across Africa. “Nigeria is an economic leader with the largest continental GDP and a large population of hardworking, entrepreneurial people.
“Yet, seven out of ten adult Nigerians remain unbanked,”stated Mike Gama-Lobo, Vice President and Regional Director for FINCA Africa at the launch ceremony. “FINCA enters this market with an unconventional approach to banking: client-centric and mission-based. Our Nigerian clients can expect a difference from our team of professionals who have deep local expertise blended with FINCA’s global best practices, delivered on the tenets of warmth, trust and responsible banking.” FINCA MfB will begin its operations with simple but innovative financial solutions – savings, term deposits, and loan products – to help clients effectively manage their money, save for the future or grow their micro-business. Services will be accessed through an efficient branch and non-branch network, starting in Owerri, Imo State, with expansion to other states in the near future. “The banking sector has yet to incorporate roughly 80 million low-income adults who are either unbanked or under banked. As a result, many Nigerians look to informal means of saving and borrowing, which can be costly and unreliable. FINCA’s approach is to offer the terms and conditions that the informal sector needs and the stability and values that informal savings and loans can’t provide.”