In a recent report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), less than a third of MSMEs have successfully obtained loans from financial institutions, and that is not for a lack of trying.
Nigeria currently has over 35 million MSMEs and if approximately only 10 million MSMEs have been able to get loans from financial institutions, hence, a credit gap of about 25 million in the country.
Fint, an online peer to peer lending platform intends to simplify access to credit for genuine borrowers while also providing returns to lenders.
Nairametrics was at FINT’s new office in Ikoyi during the week where we had a chat with the CEO, Mr. Chiwete John-Njokanma. Excerpt:
What exactly is FINT?
FINT is an online lending marketplace, basically we connect verifiable income borrowers looking for access to affordable credit with lenders who are looking to fund the loans for attractive returns. We have consumer loans i.e. loans between N60,000 and N2 million at rates as low as 8% for 3 – 12 months, with retail and institutional lenders (banks and asset managers).
For lenders, they can lend in the multiples of N20,000 grows at 26-39% for one-year loan tenures, for 6 months 15-22% for 3 months it is 8-14%.
What is the success story so far?
Our first story is the fact that we launch and became an acceptable product to the public (Lagos) and the most interesting thing is that there is a huge demand for this product for two reasons, one is because investors are looking for good returns for their money while borrowers are looking for ease and quick access to borrow money and that is the problem we are solving.
This offering has made our platform interesting. We currently have 26,000 customer base and average borrowings is like N333,000.
How do you get these lenders?
On the retail side, our strategy is the social media platforms, (twitter, facebook and Instagram) while on institution and HNIs they are mostly offline activities meeting clients and try to access their funds.
Does FINT have footprint outside Lagos?
Currently we are only in Lagos, however, we are pursuing a new licensee that will allow us to expand and move our operations to other states. But importantly, Lagos is a big market, with an estimated population of 22 million and about 60% of this population falls into our target market.
How can borrower access your platform?
So for a borrower simply sign on to our website www.fint.ng and risk assessed by our arithmetic algorithm if you pass the risk assessment test, you will get a score, that score is tied to a particular interest rate and you agree to borrow for certain period of time, risk and interest rate provided, upload proof of ID, statement of accounts at least 6 months.
Once this is done, your loan is made visible on the platform for lenders to invest. Lenders would have selected their risk criteria already, based on their risk appetite as little N20,000.
How do you handle loan defaulters knowing fully that some might want to run away after collecting the loan?
We have not experienced any default on our platform so everyone has paid back. We had people who have paid late, but they ended up paying back. The truth is that the average Nigerian is not trying to scam or cheat the system, that’s a view we hold in this business. Also, loans on FINT are insured against loss of work, permanent disability or death. So if you lend to someone who passes away, you don’t need to follow them to the great beyond to get your money back.
More importantly for us, is to create a system for genuine borrowers willing to pay back, hence, we partnered with the credit bureaus, we also carry out verification services through our third-party partners so that they can verify that if the residential address given is correct also the introduction of BVN into the system has enabled us to know our customers directly.
How secure is your platform?
Our platform is as secured as any mobile banking application and we have the necessary securities certifications and encryption system.
There has been an upsurge in the number of fintech startups in the country, what is the edge for your platform?
We presently don’t have any direct competition, however, there are a lot of strong startups out there. At FINT, our value proposition is the ability to merge value for both sides of the food chain.
A lot of lenders in the ecosystem presently lend to borrowers on their own balance sheet, hence they charge high-interest rate and get high returns but there is another side that is missing that is the investors, there are many people looking to earn income passively rather than take a second job to earn more money. Lenders willing to lend and earn strong returns.
How do you determine returns?
Our pricing model changes and is based on Monetary Policy Rate (MPR), inflation rate and based on how these two mechanism work we can work out beneficial returns for lenders.
Have you raised any funding?
Yes, we have locally from strong financial institutions.
Are you happy with the rate genuine borrowers get access to loans in Nigeria?
No, and it is unfortunate, in 2014 it was about 5%, in 2017 it dropped to 3%, it means only 3% of them have had access to credit facility from financial institutions. But why is this so? It is because the way the current system is set up will not encourage a retail investor to borrow.
What is your latest product on the market?
We have the employment model product where we allow companies to partner with us for staff loans while we directly deduct from their salary and give the loans at a lower rate
Thank you for time.
You are welcome
Peter Obaseki resigns as Director from the Board of FCMB Plc
Mr Peter Obaseki has resigned as a Director on the Board of FCMB Group Plc.
The Board of FCMB Group Plc has announced the resignation of Mr Peter Obaseki as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the company.
The notification is part of the decisions reached at the company’s Board meeting held today, 26th of February, 2021.
According to the disclosure signed by the company’s secretary, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adedibu, the resignation of Mr Obaseki from the Board of the company will become effective from 1st of March, 2021.
In lieu of this, the Board wished the outgoing Director well in his future endeavours and accepted his resignation in good faith. Other decisions reached at the Board of Directors’ meeting include;
- The Board considered and approved the appointment of an Independent Non-Executive Director, subject to CBN approval.
- It also considered and approved the Group’s audited financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2020 as well as payment of Dividend, subject to the approval of the CBN.
What you should know about Obaseki:
- Mr. Peter Obaseki has over 27 years working experience across financial consulting and banking. Prior to joining FCMB Plc in 1997, Mr Obaseki gained valuable experience in firms like KPMG, Ani, Ogunde & Co and some banks.
- He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and was appointed an executive director of FCMB in September 2008.
- Apart from being an Independent Non-Executive Director, Mr. Peter Obaseki also doubled as the Chief Operating Officer of FCMB.
FCMB closed trading with a share price of N3.03 as at the 26th of February 2021.
AXA Mansard emerges Best Health Insurance Product Winner 2021
The winning product was the AXA Platinum Plus Cover which has been specially designed to provide a world-class health cover for the insurer’s customers.
Health Management Organization, AXA Mansard Health Limited, recently announced that it has emerged as the winner of the best health insurance product of the year in the Insurance Product & Process section of the just concluded 11th Annual Global Banking and Finance Awards 2021.
The winning product was the AXA Platinum Plus Cover which has been specially designed to provide a world-class health cover for the insurer’s customers. With access to roam over 1,700 hospitals locally, care in India, UAE and South African hospitals and limited in-patient cover in the UK, France, and Germany for up to $1000 in healthcare benefits.
The product provides enrolees with benefits such as twenty-four-hour dedicated Telemedicine service, home vaccination service, free home delivery of special medications, partnership with healthy eating restaurants, and smarter budget-friendly discounts on healthy meals.
Speaking on the award, Chief Executive Officer, AXA Mansard Health Limited, Tope Adeniyi, said “We thank our highly esteemed customers for this prestigious award, as they are the reason, we passionately drive to improve our product offerings and execute innovative initiatives. This award is recognition of our unflinching commitment to our customers and an affirmation of our current position as the leading health insurance company in the country.”
AXA Mansard Health has a twenty-four-hour call centre, a team of highly trained and dedicated professionals, service portals at all AXA Mansard Welcome Centres nationwide and has deployed state-of-the-art technology to attain operational excellence while contributing to prompt service delivery and overcoming of challenges being encountered in the Nigerian health insurance industry.
Whilst thanking the organizers, Adeniyi noted that “the company is counting on the continued support of our stakeholders to continuously provide superior customer experience and to develop more innovative and value-adding products. We will continue to innovate, create new products, improve our product offering and refine our service delivery to ensure we continuously meet the changing needs of our customers”.
AXA Mansard Health Limited is the Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) arm of the AXA Mansard group of companies. The HMO is geared to promote her members’ wellbeing.
The HMO serves all clients across the country virtually and has established functional offices in Lagos (the head office), Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu, with ongoing plans to open offices in other locations.
Global Banking & Finance Review is a leading Online and Print Magazine, which has evolved from the growing need to have a more balanced view, for informative and independent news within the financial community.
Since its inception in 2011, The Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the Global Financial community. According to the magazine’s publishers the awards were created to recognize companies prominent in their areas of expertise and excellent in financial service delivery.
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