Top SMEs Friendly banks in Nigeria Ranked

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small businesses in Nigeria

Top SMEs Friendly banks in Nigeria Ranked – The banking industry in Nigeria has witnessed a lot of reforms and the evolution of a robust, strong and reliable financial institution is underway. Although Nigerian banks, specifically money deposit banks are yet to be where they should be in terms of a distress proof system as well as a system created to grow the Nigerian economy.

Before the full implementation of the treasury single account, banks depended on government funds to survive; with government treasury now secured in the TSA, it is imperative commercial banks start doing the actual business of banking – which is giving both short and long term loans especially to small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

The best way to grow an economy is giving credit facilities to SMEs and some banks are already creating unique products to suite the purpose. Sadly some top banks in Nigeria has done little or nothing about SMEs funding.

FINANCIAL WATCH in an extensive research lists top 5 SMEs friendly commercial banks in Nigeria. Our conclusions came from visits to money deposit banks branches and enquiries were made on products available for small businesses. The products as analyzed by the research team have been able to rank top 5 SMEs friendly banks. The following factors were used in ranking them:

  1. Collateral requirements
  2. Ease of access to loan
  3. Number of SMEs product
  4. Disbursable amount
  5. Interest rates
  6. Loan term

With the above factors considered, below are top 5 SMEs friendly bank in Nigeria.

1) First City Monument Bank (FCMB): Closely following Diamond bank on the list is FCMB, the bank have designed a system and a banking environment conducive for small businesses in Nigeria. With the unique SME Banking without Charge account, small businesses can open account without charges for the first three months. The bank in furtherance of its continued commitment to supporting customers in growing their businesses and equipping them with the right skills required to be successful business leaders has commenced a business leadership training programme for the bank’s SME customers across the country.

The bank in its commitment to support SMEs has developed credit facilities as follows:

a) Working Capital Facility – Finance solutions that enable businesses manage their working capital/operating cycle. These solutions include overdraft and short term loans. The benefits includes to assist businesses with sufficient funds to satisfy both maturing short-term obligations and upcoming operational expenses

b) Asset Acquisition – For acquisition of new equipment and business assets. The loan is to finance the acquisition of plant and machinery and other assets for business expansion.

c) Commercial Mortgages – Long term loans typically used to acquire, refinance, or redevelop commercial properties. The loan is created to assist businesses break free of restrictive lease agreements through acquisition of commercial properties such as office buildings, shopping centers, industrial warehouses, or apartment complexes suited to your budget and with the ease of long term repayment.

With these products and programmes created by the bank will no doubt assist small businesses to grow.

2) Fidelity bank: Seating on the number three spot, the bank has proven to be one of the most SMEs friendly bank in Nigeria. With the SMEs business Advisory products which offers a free advisory services to small businesses, the bank has been able to create amazing SMEs friendly products such as:

  • Fidelity Small Business Account (FSBA)
  • Fidelity Pharmacy Support Facility
  • Commercial Support Short Term Loan

Managed SME Offerings

Fidelity Managed SMEs focuses on providing solutions to the challenges faced by MSMEs in Nigeria through a multifaceted approach. At the core of the solutions the bank provide to MSMEs is the robust business advisory service component that embodies the totality of the practical steps we take in handholding and guiding aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to building sustainable businesses. Fidelity bank also have the all new Fidelity Business Plus, a combination of our low-cost current account product and the Sage One Accounting Software.


  • Fidelity Business Plus (FB+)
  • Fidelity Eduloan
  • Fidelity Eduportal
  • Commercial Support Overdraft (CSO)
  • Fidelity Premium Business Account
  • Fidelity Mobile Church Wallet
  • Commercial Support Short Term Loan (CSST)
  • CBN Development Fund
  • Fidelity Private Medical Support Scheme (FP-MEDSS)
  • Fidelity Pharmacy Support Facility (FPSF)
  • Business Advisory and Mentorship
  • Fidelity Small Business Account (FSBA)
  • Capacity Building
  • Youth Innovative Entrepreneurship Development Programme

For emerging entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking to open a business account, Fidelity bank has proven to be a friend of SMEs in Nigeria.

3) Stambic IBTC Bank: Another bank with a lot of passion for SMEs support and funding is Stambic IBTC bank. The bank in a drive to support small businesses have created unique products which has been helping small and medium scale enterprises grow. Some of the offerings from the bank are as follows;

a) SME Overdrafts – their business overdraft helps customers make payments from business current account when the amount exceeds the available cash balance.

b) Business Loan – their Business Loan provides funds which customers can repay over one to five years. One can repay the loan in monthly set installments to suit your business’ cash flow.

c) Trade finance – The two main types of trade finance that we offer businesses are Invoice discounts and Purchase order discounting/LPO financing.

d) Distributor Finance – Distributor Finance provides working capital to wholesalers and offers a flexible means of payment to improve cash flow.

e) Vehicle Loan – they offer flexible repayment options for businesses looking buy new or used vehicles and insurance for the loan

f) Equipment Loan – their Equipment Loan provides you with financing options so you can get the assets you need for your business.

g) Property Loan – their Property Finance Loan can help you when you are looking to buy a property for your business.

i) Agriculture Finance – they know that the demands on an agriculture business change from season to season.

Apart from the above array of credit facilities available for small businesses, the bank also have special accounts for small businesses, Viz;

i) SME Current Account – This is a special, zero COT, current account designed for small businesses with an annual turnover of less than N60 million.

ii) Mobile Money Account – Our *909# Stanbic IBTC Mobile Money service is ideal for you and your business and can be operated using any mobile phone.

iii) Foreign Currency Account – Does your business make and receive payments in a foreign currency, then our business foreign currency account may be what you need.

iv) Biz Smart Account – This is a hybrid current account designed for small and medium businesses

With these products designed to support small businesses in Nigeria, it is no doubt that Stambic IBTC bank is a friend of small businesses in Nigeria.

4) Guaranty Trust Bank Plc.: Apart from her role as a leader of innovation in the banking industry, Guaranty Trust bank is also a good friend of small business owners in Nigeria. The bank have a unique product for small business owners called ‘GT SME Banking account’.

The bank believes Small and Medium Scale Enterprise (SME) sector is vital to the development of every economy and they are fully convinced that Nigerian SMEs are the core conduit for sustainable job creation, rapid industrialization and poverty alleviation. They are therefore keen on providing our SME customers with an array of products and services to promote business growth and ensure sustainable wealth creation.

At Guaranty Trust Bank, they remain dedicated to their cause as a customer centric bank and constantly seek ways to add measurable value to businesses by offering loans and advances to fit various financial needs:

SME Term Loan (Build or Buy): This is a medium to long term facility aimed at assisting established and well-structured schools in the expansion of their landed properties to meet obvious or anticipated business demand. The tenor spans from 3 to 10 years, giving schools funds up to 400million.

Invoice Discount Facility: Is a short term borrowing facility which provides a quick cash flow solution to your business needs. Your business can draw money against invoices (receivables) issued before your clients pay for products supplied or services rendered. Up to 70% of the value of confirmed invoices can be advanced for a set period of 30-90 days prior to when payment is made.

Trading Overseas: We provide a full range of services including bills for collection and letter of credit for international trade settlement.

As a business owner looking to create a business account, GTBank has proven to be a friend of small business owners in Nigeria.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Financial Watch. Every investment and trading move involves risk. You should conduct your own research when making a decision.

About Cynthia Charles 1207 Articles
She is a prolific writer and has special interest on writing about business and opportunities. She can be contacted via [email protected]



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