FNB was announced as the SME Bank of the Year at the Global SME Finance Forum Virtual awards ceremony held on 27 October.
The Global SME Finance Awards 2020 which are endorsed by the G20’s Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) were organised by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group and the SME Finance Forum.
FNB was recognised amongst over 100 global participants for its digital innovation, exceptional products and services, as well as the unique and solution-focused manner it approaches challenges facing SMEs as they incubate, start, run and grow their businesses. The awards were judged by a committee of industry experts, with specific focus on reach, uniqueness and innovation, effectiveness and impact, as well as dynamism and scalability.
Jacques Celliers, FNB CEO says, “we are humbled to receive global recognition as this showcases that the work we are doing for our SME customers is truly adding value. SMEs are important drivers of economic activity, across all corners of society and are often referred to as the ‘backbone’ of economies. As we continue facing unprecedented economic challenges, coupled with the impact of Covid-19, we are cognisant that the SME sector remains a glimmer of hope in helping our country to create jobs and promote inclusive economic development.”
Gordon Little, FNB Business CEO, says “A key part of what has distinguished us in recent years as a leader in the SME market points to the core part of our strategy to help develop SMEs by supporting them through all stages of their business journey. FNB has invested a lot in developing a business banking platform that offers holistic and integrated financial solutions. To maintain our market leading position, it is essential that we continue offering holistic and integrated financial solutions to our diverse business customers, while ensuring that our business model continually evolves in line with their changing needs.”
We take the business of business seriously. From the onset, we realised that we needed to embrace the concept of “customer value creation”. Therefore, by helping our SME customers grow their own businesses, we are also growing our revenues, as well as increasing employment and further spending in the economy,” says Little.
FNB’s strategy for the SME sector is underpinned by a myriad of initiatives to support businesses throughout all their life stages. Increasing presence in local markets further increases FNB ‘s ability to provide contextual solutions to businesses which will further contribute to addressing the challenges faced by the country such as unemployment, empowerment and economic growth.
The focus on niches will help stimulate and drive activity in various pockets of the economy and bring opportunities for growth. The Bank has been able to provide educational material and information through Fundaba and The Business Toolkit. These tools leverage the bank’s digital platforms, are free to use and have become instrumental in providing the right level of support to businesses during the lockdown. Webinars are also available in addition to the various business tools and can be found on the bank’s digital platforms.
The global award has cemented FNB’s place as a world class bank and the commitment for FNB to provide world class solutions.
The global award adds to FNB’s accolade as ‘SA’s Best Business Bank’ for the seventh consecutive year in the annual Sunday Times Top Brands survey.