First City Monument Bank (FCMB), through EasyAgents, its agency banking network and other channels, has successfully onboarded and empowered one million financially excluded Nigerians, ensuring they have a better and more sustainable future through access to financial services.
As part of its financial inclusion programme, the Bank has provided microloans valued at N40 billion to over 300,000 beneficiaries comprising 200,000 women traders across the country who have accessed over US$51.28 million (N28.7 billion) of the total loan sum.
Committing to affordable and sustainable financial services for unbanked and underbanked Nigerians, the Managing Director of FCMB, Mrs Yemisi Edun, said:
“We are proud of our significant role in integrating Nigeria’s huge informal economy driven by small-scale farmers, traders, artisans, and other small and medium-sized businesses into the formal economy through affordable and sustainable access to financial services. Access to financial services enables prosperity and allows disadvantaged and vulnerable people to improve their lives, create wealth and reduce poverty. So, we will continue championing and executing initiatives that deepen access to affordable and sustainable financial services in our local communities to empower individuals and businesses”.
In driving financial inclusion, First City Monument Bank embraced partnerships as critical success criteria. Last year, the Bank partnered with the World Savings Banks Institute (WSBI) to deepen agency banking and financial inclusion by rolling out an integrated savings account – ‘Easy Account’- to empower two million farmers by 2023. Under the first phase of the partnership, covering over 150,000 unbanked and under-banked farmers across five states, beneficiaries are provided funds and training support through agricultural agents operating under FCMB’s agency banking proposition. The states are Kaduna, Kano, Nasarawa, Ogun and Oyo. In addition, FCMB also recently signed a partnership agreement with Shee-Coops, an international organisation that raises women’s active participation in cooperatives around the world, to provide funding to millions of women in the next five years to pursue opportunities that improve their livelihoods.
FCMB has invested in close to 10,000 agency bankers that bring financial services to the streets and doorsteps of millions of Nigerians in peri-urban and rural areas. They are currently driving the onboarding and empowering of unbanked and under-banked Nigerians.
Bank accounts are now being opened through agency bankers by hitherto unbanked and underbanked citizens. As a result, they now conveniently and securely make cash deposits, transfer funds, make withdrawals, obtain loans, buy airtime, and pay bills, among other financial transactions. In addition, they also have opportunities to access the Bank’s Agric value chain platform (EasyClub) and microloans to boost their standard of living and grow businesses.
A purpose beyond profit commercial banking institution, First City Monument Bank is a member of FCMB Group Plc, led by Ladi Balogun as Group Chief Executive. The Bank is committed to COVID-19 recovery, income equality and poverty reduction by easing credit constraints to disadvantaged individuals and small businesses.