Agaseke Bank targets to rollout new innovative loans to individuals and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to increase credit access after it total revenues grew by 38 percent to Rwf7.5b last year.
Agaseke was licensed by the Central Bank to operate as a fully fledged commercial bank last year. The Bank raised its loan portfolio to Rwf6b last year, up from 4.3b in 2010 with a net income of Rwf300m, indicating a consistent growth of 35 per cent for the last four years.
“We want to give out credit facilities to both individuals and companies who can add value, and we believe this will help more entrepreneurs to set up or run their businesses with enough credit,” Jean Marie Vianney Nyirimihigo, the Chairman Board told Business Times during the official launch of the bank on Friday.
Nyirimihigo noted that the bank is increasing its loan capacity and will majorly focus at sector by sector marketing approach rather than mass marketing to ensure that SMEs and individuals in each sector can access loans from the bank.
He added that they would be able to offer credit for a long term projects, which was not possible when it operated as a microfinance institution.
Agaseke, which started as microfinance Institution in 2003, is owned by SORAS as the biggest share holder, with DOKOS holding having 25 percent and one percent held by employees.
Faustin Ntezilyayo, the Managing Director said that the bank is soon opening up Automated Teller Machines, internet banking in addition to the current SMS banking to provide their clients a full electronic payment system that is emphasised by the central bank to usher in a cashless economy.
“We will be setting up partnerships with Microfinance Institutions and SACCOs in order that they can bank with us and will help us reach those areas unbanked by commercial banks,” he said
Whilst the Minister of Trade and Industry Francois Kanimba is optimistic that bringing on board SACCOs will help them have their savings banked and also generate enough credit to give out in terms of loans to facilitate the recent growth of rural based SMEs.
“This is an extremely interesting idea, because MFis and SACCOS have the best goal of financially including the rural poor but they lack credit,” the Minister said.
The bank currently has 11 branches with five branches upcountry.
Roger Cyaga, a client with the bank noted that the bank is flexible in terms of loans and does not over look the clients status which allows each person to feel comfortable to access banking services.