In a bid to boost the SME sector, South Africa’s First National Bank (FNB) says its parent company, FirstRand, and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) have concluded a loan agreement in the amount of USD200 million (R2.6 billion).
The IFC has developed the SME Push Program to channel USD2-3 billion (around R26-39 billion) of a wide range of investment into South Africa’s SMEs over the next 5-7 years.
CEO of FBN Business, Mike Vacy-Lyle mentioned that SMEs are vital to the economic growth of the nation. “SMEs are one of the most powerful contributors to sustainable economic growth. In South Africa, the sector contributes about 40% to the country’s GDP,” he said.
The National Development Plan 2030 estimates that South Africa needs to have 8 million active SME’s in order to achieve set targets of creating 11 million jobs by 2030.
The SME Push Program is designed to align with government policies in order to assist in gearing South Africa towards these set goals.
About First National Bank
FNB is the oldest bank in South Africa, and can be traced back to the Eastern Province Bank formed in Grahamstown in 1838. Today, FNB trades as a division of FirstRand Bank Limited. When looking at FNB’s history, two things in particular stand out. The first is a story of survival – different circumstances in South Africa have posed many great challenges in our history, all of which FNB has successfully met. This track record provides a strong foundation for our future challenges. The second is a story of people – our history has always been firmly influenced by the needs of the people we serve.
The Acacia tree in our brand logo is a suitable representation of our history. Our roots run deep in South Africa, and we have grown thanks to our commitment to serving the needs of our clients and communities.
A landmark development in FNB’s history took place in 1998 when the financial services interests of Rand Merchant Bank Holdings and Anglo American were merged to form FirstRand Limited. In the process, FNB was delisted from the JSE on 22 May 1998 to become a wholly-owned subsidiary of FirstRand, which was listed on the JSE on 25 May 1998. On 30 June 1999, the banking interests of FirstRand formally merged into a single entity to form FirstRand Bank. FNB, WesBank and RMB now trade as divisions of FirstRand Bank.