Traders at the Kantamanto market in Accra whose wares were destroyed by a fire that gutted the market recently are ready to start their businesses on humble beginnings after Stanbic Bank initiated suport scheme for them.
The Bank wrote off the debt of 14 victims of the fire outbreak and in addition gave a total of GH¢14,000 in cheques as corporate social responsibility to the 14 victims to restart their businesses.
The 14 beneficiaries had signed on for the Stanbic SME Quick Loans (SQL) product which has an insurance component of 0.756% of the loan value and does not require collateral.
Managing Director Alhassan Andani explained that under the SMEs Quick Loan facility, only 0.75 percent of the loan is dedicated to insurance and in the event of a disaster the loan gets written off.
‘We at Stanbic want to assure Ghanaians that we are truly here for the long-haul; that is why we have products like the SMEs Quick Loans, which is a collateral-free loan and very easily disbursed’.
‘The product has only 0.75 percent as insurance cover and in times of adversity which nobody wishes for, you get your loan written-off.
But as part of our corporate social responsibility, we have given each of these victims GH¢1,000 to get back onto their feet and also the opportunity to request for fresh loans irrespective of what we have done for them,’ he said.
He reiterated the bank’s unflinching support to businesses in the country, and stressed the need for Ghanaians to always take insurance policies because ‘you just don’t know what can happen’.
‘If every Kantamanto trader was insured, this country would have been much safer; it is difficult to say that people learn out of such adversity, but if people have to learn from this adversity so be it.
‘We, in granting this facility, actually sat down and as part of the product offering said ‘we are giving you this product while you don’t have to put in collateral. We shortened the delivery time and reached them at the marketplace and gave them the loans’.
‘Once you take the loan, the insurance cover is embedded in it and in times of disaster the loan gets written-off.
‘You should do that for your car, house, personal effects like chairs, sound systems that you love very much. Put insurance on it, because you never know what can happen,’ he stressed.
Minister of Trade and Industry Haruna Iddrisu said the loan- or debt-forgiveness by Stanbic Bank will encourage more the traders to take advantage of insurance.
He added that it will take time to educate these traders and Ghanaians in general on the benefits of insurance, but ‘I am sure as we keep raising their consciousness about insurance, they will start accessing products like the Stanbic Quick SME Loans.’
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