BARCLAYS BANK ANNOUNCES 30 BILLION SHILLING KITTY FOR SMEs

Nairobi, 12th August 2015:- Barclays Bank of Kenya has unveiled a Kshs. 30 billion loan kitty to boost the financial capacity of Kenya’s Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) thus enabling them to expand and make a bigger contribution to the country’s fast-growing economy.
The kitty is a key pillar of the ‘Open Doors’ campaign that the bank has launched in order to entrench its credentials in this important growth segment.  This money will be available to SMEs with a turnover of up to Kshs.300 million.  
Barclays Bank Managing Director, Mr. Jeremy Awori said, “As a bank, we are alert to the unique challenges facing our SME customers and we have made it our responsibility to innovatively develop solutions that we believe can support their growth and help them prosper.”
“Given that this sector contributes about half of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and are now providing 80% of new jobs, there is a significant multiplier effect on our economy if they are funded adequately. Barclays has therefore developed a robust, industry-leading, credit-scoring model that minimizes our risk exposure while providing capital to these critical outfits,” he added.
In order to provide a more nimble service to SME customers, and in a bid to ensure that the bank is able to adequately address the unique issues that impact this market segment, the bank has also introduced a single point of contact for SME customers in all its 121 branches countywide.
Henceforth, SME customers will either be served by an Enterprise Manager, Relationship Manager or Branch Manager as the case may be thus offering them personalized service.  
“We are not just throwing money at these ventures. Our resolve is to walk with our partners through the journey. Through this offering, we will offer expert business training sessions for the SMEs as well as expose them to international business opportunities through the Barclays Business Club,” Mr. Awori said.
Earlier this year, the bank reviewed its credit rules for this segment by introducing a best in market 48 hour turn-around time for credit approvals and unsecured lending of up to Kshs. 6 million. Barclays also replaced the requirement for audited accounts with a behavioural score card for credit requests of up to Kshs. 15 million.