By James Bariyo
KCB bank in partnership with European Investment Bank has started skilling entrepreneurs on how to handle the soft loans they acquire. The initiative is aimed at giving back to its esteemed customers across the country.
This was revealed by KCB Bank Mbarara branch Manager, Mr. Sabiti Adolf Mwesigye during a training workshop held at Oxford hotel in Mbarara town on Thursday.
He said that they are to inject 40 billion shillings this year and looking forward to do it every year.
“We are looking forward to disburse a minimum of 40 billion shillings between August 16 – December 31,” said Sabiti.
KCB bank manger noted that since the last two weeks, KCB has trained about 650 business entrepreneurs across the country in 8 major towns of Mbale, Jinja, Lira Guru, Arua, Fort Portal, Hoima, and Mbarara in business management and financial literacy ranging from Agriculture, oil and gas, transport, trade and commerce.
“As I talk now we have trained over 600 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) targeting more than 4000 SME customers in the country,” he said.
He added that “Customers are the ones supporting us, giving out money is not enough but its only fair that we give them back by imparting entrepreneurs with skills to make communities much better off.”
He said that KCB Partners with European Investment Bank to lend money to their customers at lower rates.
“If the bank is using very expensive funds, it will automatically lend out at very expensive rates, as KCB bank, we have partnered with European Investment Bank to give us some money at relatively lower rates so that we are able to give out loans at lower rates to our customers,” Sabiti explained.
He boasted that KCB bank made 1.5 trillion shillings profits more than any other bank in the region for the last financial year and is the only bank with low performing loans in Uganda.
The head of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises KCB bank, Mr. Godfrey Ssenteza said that some of the entrepreneurs' businesses are still young and some entrepreneurs have not started a banking system thus need to be equipped with skills.
This coerced the bank to carry out a country wide drive to ensure that they equip their customers with basic management skills like records keeping, customs service and tax planning.
“We found out that most of our clients in SME segment need to access affordable financing but it does not come easily because most of these customers don’t have well equipped books of accounts,” said Ssenteza.
Mr. Ssenteza described an SME customer to KCB as someone who is able to borrow between 10million to 3billion shillings from their bank.
“If your business has the capacity to borrow up to 3billion shillings, then you fall in that category,” he said.
He however warned locals who get multiple loans from different banks and find their salaries cannot sustain the acquired loans mostly those in civil service to stop it.
“Take a loan you are assured of paying back, your salary should not be of one million and you go for a loan of 900,000,” Ssenteza concluded.