Africa's best bank for SMEs 2018: Attijariwafa Bank
Awards for Excellence 2018
Most bankers working in Africa today believe that SME financing is the most vital contribution banking can make to the economic development of the continent. Yet the amount of credit lent to smaller African enterprises remains very low.
In this context, the work of Attijariwafa Bank, Africa’s best bank last year and Africa’s best bank for SMEs this year, deserves recognition.
In 2017, the bank set out to lend Dh16 billion ($1.7 billion) to SMEs, including Dh7 billion to 30,000 very small enterprises. It surpassed that target, lending Dh16.8 billion and supporting as many as 32,500 very small businesses. Attijariwafa is not resting on its laurels, promising to lend as much as Dh26 billion in 2018 – Dh18 billion to SMEs and the rest to very small companies.
Looking for inventive ways to support SMEs beyond increasing the amount of credit made available to them, the bank is involved in state programmes supporting those businesses. A third of all state-sponsored SMEs also receive support from Attijariwafa.
The bank also allows a large number of its SME clients – 38% in 2017 – to benefit from particularly advantageous terms, including lower interest rates and longer tenors, to enable them to borrow and grow even when other banks would deem them excessively risky.