Trust Bank yesterday 13 March 2017 held a day-long seminar for SMEs at the
Ocean Bay Resort, as part of its 15-year anniversary celebration.
The seminar discussed topics such as Opportunities for SMEs, Overview of SME Business in The Gambia, Sources of Capital for SMEs and Options for Financing Growth, Role of SMEs in Economic and Social Development, Sustainable Growth and Survival Strategies for SMEs and Personal Transformation Key to Economic Growth.
The bank on the same day also launched its 2017 Save and Win Promotion and Fast Track Service.
The bank also presented cheques for US$10,000 to SOS Child Village for the upkeep of the place, D500,000 to school football for the GTBank Cup and D100,000 to Sinchu Orphanage.
In his statement on the occasion, GTBank MD/CEO Bolaji Ayodele said GTBank came to The Gambia 15 years ago with the promise of delivering innovative products and services focused on empowering their customers, communities and the Gambian economy.
Over the years, he added, they have built a strong foundation and are well positioned for continued growth, which is a testament to the world-class standard of their services and the commitment of their members of staff.
“Today, we are humbled by the confidence that our customers have in us and assure them of our continued commitment to providing superior banking experience that places them at the heart of everything we do,” he stated, adding: “15 years ago, in the minds of many ‘GTBank was a Nigerian Bank’. However, today in the minds of many ‘GTBank Gambia is a Gambian Bank that is here to stay and to work with the people for development of The Gambia’.”
He thanked God for all the successes their brand has registered in The Gambia. He also thanked the Government of The Gambia for providing the right conditions for banking operations in the country and for maintaining peace and tranquility, which is paramount for sustainable business. He also thanked the people of The Gambia for believing in them and embracing their brand.
According to him, the remarkable patronage of Gambians and the enabling environment created by the government for banking and the resilience and determination of their staff are the reasons behind the enviable success registered by GTBank.
He noted that they organised the seminar for SMEs because they have in recent years seen them grow significantly and contribute remarkably to the economy in terms of employment and youth empowerment, despite the numerous challenges they face.
“We believe that with the right support and investment, SMEs would accelerate the country’s development,” he pointed out.
“While most people would think that the greatest problem for SMEs is that of financing, we believe that what they need more is to understand the fundamentals of business development and apply simple tested principles to develop and operate profitably.”
GTBank Executive Director Isatou Jawara, in launching the Bank’s Fast Track Service and 2017 Save and Win Promotion, said the promo is one of their ways of giving back to the people that have so much trust in GTBank and to also promote the national development agenda.
She recalled that the promotion was done last year, and they decided to repeat it this year to continue encouraging customers to exercise the habit of saving.
Winners would be awarded on a quarterly basis in July, October and at the end of 2017, she announced, saying prizes to be offered are divided into three categories with the intention of accommodating all customers.
Ms Jawara explained that to qualify as one of the prize winners, customers are expected to maintain deposit balances as follows: in category one, D10,000 to D50, 000 with ten customers to each win 2 bags of rice, 1 bag of onion, 1 bag of 25 kg sugar and a gallon of 20-litre vegetable oil.
In category two, the customer should maintain deposit balances of above D50,000. Prizes are a motorbike, fridge freezer and 32-inch LED TV set.
In category three, the customer is to maintain deposit balance of D200,000 and above, from April to December. The grand final prizes for the 3rd category are a complete bedroom set for the third winner, return ticket to Dubai for one person and travel money of $2,000 for the second winner, and Hyundai Tucson for the first winner.
She explained that the Fast Track Service is available in all their branches to allow quick withdrawals using their POS terminals by any person holding any local card and visa card of any bank.
The service, according to her, is expected to decongest their banking halls, adding that there is a dedicated teller for the service in all their branches.
“You need no deposit slip to be filled for withdrawal; only insert your card and enter your PIN and then the amount; the machine will produce two receipts, one for the customer and the other for the teller, the teller would pay you the amount withdrawn; no ID is required for the transaction, she further explained,” she explained.
Suwaibou Cham, in his keynote address, in deputising for GIEPA CEO, said many a time the challenges of businesses are finance, but was quick to add that at GIEPA they believe finance is part of, but not the only problem.
Mr Cham tasked banks to make finance available, accessible and affordable to SMEs in the country, saying it is the duty of the private sector to help SMEs grow.
Lamin Dampha, DPS Ministry of Trade, in his opening statement on behalf of his PS, said that over the years, they had supported SMEs because they believe helping the SME sector will provide the basis for development in the country, since they form the foundation of businesses in the country.
SMEs are the central component of any economy, he added, saying SMEs are essential to economic growth, creation of employment, very vibrant in creating wealth, increase skills development and also have broader social impacts.
SMEs employ over 60 present of the labour force and contribute 20 present to the country’s GDP, he announced, adding that they play multiple roles in the economy.