UMB set to transform SME banking

A woman holds 03 July 2007 in Accra a wad new currency, the new cedi, that Ghana put in circulation that day, although the old money will still be valid until the end of the year. Currently, the cedi is one of the least valued currencies in Africa: 9000 cedis equal one US dollar. Ernest Addison, head of research at the Bank of Ghana, assured in November 2006 that the changeover was not a revaluation nor devaluation, and will not affect foreign exchange. AFP PHOTO / ISSOUF SANOGO (Photo credit should read ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP/Getty Images)

The viability and growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Ghana has been given a boost with the launch of the first UMB Centre for Businesses in Kumasi.

Located on the Ashanti New Town road in Ashtown, this innovative Centre will set a new standard in the delivery of SME banking services and enhance the competitiveness of UMB Bank in the SME segment.

Chief Executive Officer of UMB Bank, John Awuah, recounted UMB Bank’s long and proud history of developing business in Ghana and stated that the bank is poised to restore its leadership position as the preeminent financial partner for businesses in Ghana.

He further stated that another Centre will be opened in Accra before the end of the year and that in the next five years, the bank will open similar Centres in other parts of Ghana and the UMB Centre of Businesses will become a permanent and differentiated beacon in SME banking in Ghana.

“SMEs are unique and face peculiar challenges and that is why we have taken the bold step of setting up an operational infrastructure outside of our normal banking operations to cater exclusively to the needs of SMEs,” stated Mr. Awuah.

According to Mr. Awuah, the UMB Centre for Businesses is not a UMB bank branch, but the cradle for developing all categories of businesses and entrepreneurs ‘’from the woman who sells used clothing to the young technology entrepreneur who has the next billion cedi idea.”

The Head of Business Banking of UMB Bank, Ernest Tetteh also stated, “At UMB, we take a more holistic approach to SME banking by providing both financial and non-financial solutions.”

According to Mr. Tetteh, “we cannot grow SMEs by simply advancing loans to them and that is why the UMB Centre of Businesses will also provide world class advisory services in areas such as corporate governance, business strategy, internal controls, business development initiatives, marketing, and succession planning among others.

Customers of the Centre will have access to dedicatedand experienced relationship managers and credit analysts. They will also enjoy quick transactions and the utmost convenience and confidentiality.

“To us at UMB Bank, small businesses are big businesses and our ‘Big on Small Business’ mantra is amply demonstrated by the establishment of this Centre. I encourage all business owners in Kumasi and beyond to take advantage of this Centre and they will be glad that they did”, Mr. Tetteh concluded


Source: B & FT