Coping with economic volatility
SMEs form a key source of employment in African economies, especially among under-served segments of society such as women and young people. Yet access to finance remains a key constraint to SME development in emerging markets across Africa. Financial institutions trying to bridge this financing gap often have to deal with the cyclical nature of the economies in which they operate. So being well-diversified across countries helps to mitigate the potential risks involved.
Pan-African financial innovator
Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (Ecobank) is a pan-African holding company that controls the Ecobank banking network. It is active in 36 countries across much of west, central, eastern and southern Africa. Providing banking services to more than 14 million customers across Africa, Ecobank is an important participant in the development of the markets.
Ecobank provides both wholesale and retail banking services, and manages a technical infrastructure that underpins 927 branches, 2,665 ATMs, 13,800 POS machines, internet and mobile banking. The bank has been a pioneer of the digital banking revolution that is helping to transform lives and build businesses across the African continent.
Like other financial institutions active in emerging markets, Ecobank has to deal with economic pressures affecting its local markets and regions. Across its geographical footprint, Ecobank has been able to perform consistently amid challenging conditions.
With the support of FMO Ecobank has been able to build on its existing environmental and social governance platform. This includes the development of more active risk monitoring tools on transactions where such aspect arise.
FMO has been in a partnership with Ecobank since 1995 through funding mechanisms including syndicated loans and guarantees. The fund participation is part of a deployment of a syndicated USD 200 million loan facility to deliver much-needed funding to African SMEs. This stands as the largest development finance transaction ever concluded by an African financial institution and went on to receive an award for the year's most outstanding syndicated transaction.