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FirstBank joins SMEs Finance Forum to expand access to finance.

FIRSTBank of Nigeria Limited has joined the SME Finance Forum, which comprises financing experts from over 80 countries.

“Forty percent of small and medium businesses worldwide struggle to get access to the credit and capital that they need to grow their enterprises. We are delighted to welcome FirstBank to our network of 200 members who are working to eliminate the finance gap for SMEs,” CEO, SME Forum, Matthew Gamser said.

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FirstBank has been nimble at promoting a digital economy in Africa and has issued over 10 million cards. The institution’s financial inclusion and cashless transaction drive have resulted in over 228 million users on its USSD banking service through the nationally acclaimed *894# banking service and over 4.1 million users on Firstmobile platform, its digital banking application.

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Since the last nine months of the COVID-19 impact, FirstBank has organised six virtual SMEs’ webinars aimed at getting business owners informed and educated on various ways to withstand the economic shocks caused by the pandemic.

In addition, in April, this year, FirstBank offered a 90-day moratorium on SME loans and introduced special waivers on repayment fees on the Bank’s credit cards as part of the palliative measures it employed to reduce the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic in Nigeria. Recently, in September, FirstBank partnered with the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) in a 6 Billion naira matching fund scheme.

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