Bank boosts SMEs with N23.96bn loan in 12 months
In its commitment to growing the small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs), SunTrust Bank gave out N23.96 billion as loans and advances to the sector in 2019.
The information was contained in the bank’s annual report made available to The Guardian at the weekend. The Chairman, Olanrewaju Shittu, while addressing the shareholders at the bank’s fourth annual general meeting (AGM), held in Lagos, said despite the challenges of the year under review, the bank was still able to increase its balance sheet by 24.61 per cent from N43.97 billion to N54.79 billion.
The Chief Executive of the bank, Halima Buba, reiterated its commitment to the growth of the nation’s economy through effective funding of the real sector.
She said: “We are committed to the growth and development of our economy and this can only be done through effective funding of the real sector. As you can see, we increased our loans and advances by 185.41 per cent from N8.4 billion to N23.96 billion and I am assuring you that we will surely do more because we are committed to the growth of the real sector, knowing fully well that, that is the only means to ensure effective growth and development of our nation’s economy.
“In line with our strategy, we are going to aggressively drive SMEs transactions … and part of our strategy is retail banking, we want to create a retail bank of choice and certainly SMEs is the engine room for the growth of any economy and to provide financing services to support the SMEs will be the only way, we can support the growth of the economy and particularly in line with the vision of the CBN and the current administration.”
The bank also grew to N25.7 billion, an increase of 38.03 per cent. Buba assured that as the bank grows, more funds will be set aside for corporate social responsibility as SunTrust is poised to improve the wellbeing of the society.
She also noted: “The bank increased the headcount to ensure increased business growth higher than the previous year. This amongst others caused an increase in customer deposits compared with the previous year by 38.03 per cent, from N18.64 billion to N25.73 billion and growth in the bank’s total assets from N43.97 billion to N54.79 billion.
“Despite the threats to growth, the bank will take advantage of opportunities presented in the coming financial year to improve earnings, profitability and asset quality with a view to delivering value to our esteemed shareholders.”