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  • HASAL Microfinance Bank celebrates 10 years of supporting MSME & providing financial inclusion

    Determined to consolidate on its financial inclusion mileage recorded over the past years, HASAL Microfinance Bank Ltd at the weekend said it was targeting to reach a 500,000 customer base by 2020.

    This is even as it hinted of plans to get licensed as a National MFB soon in order to further widen its operational scope in its sustained efforts to serve millions of the financially excluded poor in rural communities nationwide.

    Giving these hints at the Gala Nite organized to commemorate the bank’s 10th Anniversary in Abuja, the Managing Director, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, commended thousands of the bank’s loyal customers for trusting the establishment for the past 10 years which availed it the opportunity to provide banking services and empower them with modern micro business management skills.

    Nwoke, who reminisced on the micro lender’s journey so far in financial products and services delivery in the country, noted that the efforts of the MFB to impact on customers’ businesses and capacity to manage their enterprises had paid off in terms of the achievements recorded so far.

    He explained: “I am very pleased and proud of our shareholders and directors for believing in our dream that one of the ways to eradicate poverty is through providing microcredit and insurance to small business owners who do not have access to Deposit Money Banks to enable them grow”.

    “For the past 10years we have worked very hard to make sure that we serve our customers well by rebranding technologically and we have reached a very advanced stage of our core banking. We trained people in Abuja for over 190 days to implement the advanced software and integrate same seamlessly, we have trained our staff to deliver an excellent customers experience at all times”.

    “We have also disbursed almost N50bn to about 60,000 people and customer base of more than 200,000. For those who have taken loans and still taking loans, we have recorded close to 60,000 people”, the banking expert added.

    Nwoke, who is the current President of the National Association of Microfinance Banks (NAMB), also thanked the investors and gave them assurance that the bank would continue to add value to their investment through good returns and other incentives.

    The HASAL MFB boss, who disclosed that the bank had an asset base in excess of N6 billion and a capital base in excess of N2 billion as at its last financial accounts report, confirmed that the micro lender secured recently from OIKO Credit Netherlands a €1.5 million for on-lending to customers.

    He hinted further that the shareholders and directors of the MFB had restated their confidence in the management team to take the microfinance bank to greater heights in the future.

    HASAL Microfinance Bank Launches ORBIT-R Banking Application

    HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited, one of Nigeria's leading MfBs, has upgraded its core banking operations solution to a higher version, as part of its commitment to deliver services for optimal satisfaction to its customers.

    Briefing the media on the Bank’s decision to upgrade the core banking software in Abuja, the bank's Managing Director, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the new upgrade from Orbit 4.3 to Orbit R, the latest edition, is to improve the innovative products that are tailored to meet various needs of customers.

    According to him, the new application has paved way for the bank to become one of the first MFBs to generate the 10-digit Nigeria Uniform Bank Account Number (NUBAN) for all its customers after its successful sign up to the Nigeria Central Switch (NCS) Network.

    The founder and Chief Executive Officer of HASAL MfB; Mr. Rogers A.I Nwoke said the bank was becoming increasingly more technologically innovative, more customer friendly and service-oriented, even as it seeks to continue to support micro business amongst others.

    “I am very pleased and proud to let the customers know that we are rebranding technologically and we have reached a very advanced stage of our core banking. We had a team of about 20 people who began training in Abuja for over 190 days to implement the software and integrate same seamlessly, we have trained our staff to understand the benefit of this upgrade so as to deliver an excellent customers experience at all times." Nwoke added.

    The 10-digit bank account numbering system that is simpler to use than traditional longer account numbering structures, and in line with requirements of the West Africa Monetary Institute, is towards the economic integration of countries within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

    Every bank is required to create and maintain a NUBAN code for every account whether current, savings, deposit or any other in its customer database, and Microfinance banks should as well embrace it in order to be integrated into Nigeria’s mainstream banking system, thereby offering their customers up to date value.

    HASAL Microfinance Bank pays out more than N200m in Dividends to Shareholders

    HASAL Microfinance Bank, a market leader in Responsible Inclusive Finance and enterprise development has paid out more than N200m in the last three years to its shareholders returning 40Kobo for every N1 ordinary shares held.

    Disclosing this in a press release, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Rogers Nwoke gave an assurance at a meeting of the bank’s shareholders that the bank will continue to guarantee value to all investors.

    The Bank’s Customer Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, which was established in 2013 with over 200 members, has grown into a big mutual cooperative availing its members liberty to access business support funding from the bank at group and individual levels and at a reduced interest rate.

    The decision to form a Customer Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Nwoke said, is part of the bank’s Social Performance Initiatives aimed at making micro-business owners/entrepreneurs part owners of a thriving institution in order to ensure they are part of the banks’ success as this avails customers the opportunity to grow their business as the bank is growing.

    The Managing Director further stressed that, when the bank launched HASAL MFB shares, “the Board and management felt it was important to give customers the opportunity to become shareholders of the bank. Today those customers who purchased our shares have received millions of Naira in dividend for 3 years in a row”.

    The founding President of HASAL Customers’ Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society, Mr. Pascal Emenyonu stated his confidence and that of his members on the bank. “We believed 3 years ago that the money we were investing in the bank will yield results, and today our expectations has been realistic because we have earned dividends consistently in the last 3 years.

    He also added that “the level of integrity and competence of the management team gives us the assurance that the capacity of the bank can only get better, so our members have decided to keep reinvesting for our benefit and that of the bank”.

    Similarly, Mr. Christian Eze, a customer of the bank for 6 years and also a shareholder within the cooperative scheme explained that he became a member of the cooperative because he believes in the bank and he is happy with the way HASAL provides financial services to the poor.

    Mr. Eze added that the cooperative is “making arrangement to start fish farming. This is where being a shareholder is very good, we are accessing loans from the bank to finance the business as well as capacity building in the form of training from the bank’s academy”.

    It is a unique feature of the bank that its customers who are micro entrepreneurs have an equity stake in the bank so that they are also partakers of the profit in the business. The same gesture is extended to employees through their Staff Multi-Purpose Cooperative Society.

    Over 50 customers win HASAL MFB's Save & Win Promo Prizes

    Over 50 winners have emerged in the HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited’s One Year Reward Promo, during the first raffle draws held in the bank’s corporate office in Abuja. The Promo draw, which attracted thousands of customers to the corporate headquarters of the bank, was witnessed by a team from National Lottery Regulatory Commission led by the Director Regulation & Monitoring, Prince Emmanuel Jeminiwa; auditors of the bank, journalists and other relevant stakeholders in the banking industry.

    At the end of the raffle draw, a customer at the Utako branch, Mrs. Nkechi Ofonelo, won 32” Plasma TV, Home Theater and Toaster for saving multiples of N10, 000, while another customer, Emma Kris, won Refrigerator and GoTv Decoder.

    Similarly, Mrs. Itedgere Eze Blessing from Kubwa branch won two sewing machines and a blender while Mrs Fatima Anthony won a generator set just as Mrs. Chika Oluchukwa, and Francis Chukwu Onu won Rechargeable Fans.

    In his remarks, the bank’s Managing Director, Mr Rogers Nwoke, thanked all the customers for their strong loyalty and the mutually beneficial relationship between them and the bank, adding that One Year Reward Promo was “structured to help customers to nurture the habit of saving and entrenching a savings culture”.

    He therefore urged the old customers to keep doing business with the bank in view of its demonstrated sense of corporate responsibility to impact their lives even as he asked potential ones to key into the bank’s ‘win-win’ business strategy which it has adopted over the years.

    The banking expert pointed out that this was required in order to enable HASAL MFB add value continually to customers’ businesses by delivering world class and innovative products and services to them on sustainable basis and by doing so, contribute to the nation’s economic growth.

    He explained that for any old customer to qualify or stand a chance of winning an award, they needed to save N10, 000 while a new customer is required to open a Savings Account with HASAL MFB to start saving N10, 000 for six months before the qualifying date for the draw, adding that the more money one saves in his or her account, the more the opportunities for winning a prize.

    Expressing her joy for emerging the winner of 32” Plasma TV, Home Theater and Toaster during a chat with the media, Mrs. Ofonelo disclosed that she opened her account five years ago and expressed her appreciation to the bank for rewarding her.

    She described the prize as an experience she will live to cherish forever.

    Blessing, the customer who won two sewing machines said that she could not believe the reality when he name was announced as winner, saying the openness of the award draws demonstrates HASAL Bank’s sincerity and evidence that it is a caring institution that values its customers.

    Scores of customers who won hair dryers and other consolation prizes also thanked the Board and management of the bank for impacting their lives positively and re-assured their continued patronage.

    The leader of the Nigeria Lottery Regulatory Commission’s team, Prince Jeminiwa, who witnessed the process and also participated in the operation of the raffle draws, lauded the bank for fulfilling its promise to customers while encouraging the latter on the need for them to continue saving their money for safety and other benefits the bank will continue to offer.

    HASAL MFB disburses N77m credit to over 400 customers

    HASAL Microfinance Bank, Nigeria's leading microfinance bank, has disbursed N77 million to over 400 customers under the Central Bank of Nigeria’s, CBN’s, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Fund (MSMEDF).

    During the disbursement of the micro credit which formally flagged off the bank’s MSMEDF disbursement to customers on Monday in Abuja, eight groups and four individual customers received various amount in credit, just as thousands of others finalized their application for loans.

    Some of the groups that benefited from the credit are, Correct Women Multipurpose Corporative Society, Glory Clouds Multipurpose Corporative Society; and Sylsol Plant & Harvest Multipurpose Corporative Society, amongst others.

    In the corporate Small Medium Enterprises’ categories, some of the beneficiary companies are Upward Waters Nigeria Limited, Toprange Bakery Limited, Amomaja Global Services Limited and Chizel International Limited. These customers received N5 million loan each from the fund to enable them grow their businesses.

    Commenting on the CBN initiative targeted at providing credit access to MSMEs, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer HASAL Microfinance Bank, Mr Rogers Nwoke described the apex bank’s MSME Development Fund as a welcome development from the CBN.

    He said: “We at HASAL believe in touching people’s life for good so this is a great opportunity to help small, micro business owners grow their business and become party to development of the economy”.

    Nwoke, who sensitized the beneficiaries on how to repay back the loan, explained that the fund was not government grant or subsidy but rather a “development fund for the development of business and the money must be paid back to CBN as and when due.

    With over 400 beneficiaries recorded on the flagging off of the credit disbursement by the bank, Nwoke, a seasoned banker, said that HASAL would continue to create access to credit to its customers on a sustainable basis to enable them grow their businesses and by so doing improve their contributions to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, and job creation drive.

    One of the beneficiaries, Mr. David Ejiofor Amadi, the group leader of Kugbo II Furniture Corporative Society commended HASAL Bank for championing the cause of its customers at all times, adding that the credit secured through the MSME Development Fund will go a long way in helping their entities to grow.

    The leader of Sylsol Plant & Harvest Multipurpose Corporative Society, Chime Sylvia, thanked the CBN and HASAL Bank for making the fund accessible to them and making the “interest rate the least her group has ever enjoyed”.

    The MSME Development Fund is part of the CBN developmental interventions, which aims to promote financial inclusion in Nigeria through the provision of funding to micro entrepreneurs.

    HASAL MFB introduces zero COT on transactions

    Determined to ensure that its customers continue to enjoy cost-efficient banking services, HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited has commenced the zero Commission on Turnover (COT) policy on all customers’ transactions with it.

    The Board of the Bank last week after its meeting announced the zero COT policy, almost a year ahead of the 2016 deadline set by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for all banks in the country to implement zero COT to enable customers have unhindered access to their money.

    Briefing the media on the Bank’s decision on zero COT for its customers in Abuja, the Managing Director of the bank, Mr.Rogers Nwoke, said the reason for this move was in response to the request by customers to have a bank that will enable them carry out high volume transactions without incurring costs.

    According to the finance expert, the decision is also one of the ways the Board and management considered helpful to small business owners, self-employed persons as well as the larger society to enjoy the benefits of current and corporate accounts while enjoying zero COT.

    Nwoke was optimistic that the innovative banking measure, the first to be introduced by any MFB in the country, will pave a way for old and new customers of the bank to continue to carryout transactions without worrying about any COT or hidden charges.

    He urged non-current account holders who are interested in operating such account but had restrained themselves in the past due to COT charges to come to the bank and open their accounts as HASAL MFB is pioneering the zero COT in the MFB sub-sector of the banking industry.

    He explained that the all current accounts of the bank have been designed for the cost sensitive business or individual. According to him, account users will find current account attractive and well suited to meet their needs due to the nature of their operations.

    The HASAL Bank Chief explained: “The introduction of the zero COT on transactions by our Bank is one of the ways being explored to demonstrate to them that we care about their businesses and that we are ready to remove all forms of constraints that may have hamper their access to financial services.

    “We are happy that with this zero COT policy, the cost of their transactions and doing business will be reduced. This is one of the ways HASAL Bank is using to show that we care always. We are confident that with the current lull in the economy, this gesture will impact positively on our customers’ operational cost and by implication, help in growing their businesses. It is our way of telling them that we care.

    “With this initiative, customers who operate current account will also have access to the array of e-banking products available to all HASAL MFB account holders”, Nwoke assured.

    Madagascar Ministry of Finance understudies HASAL MFB’s micro financing model

    Top officials of the Ministry of Finance Madagascar have visited HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited, one of the leading MFBs spearheading grassroots financial inclusion drive in the country, to understudy the Bank’s operational model with a view to using the experiences gained for MFB capacity building in their country.

    The eight-member team of the Madagascar ministry of finance was led by the National Coordinator of Microfinance Bank in the country, Mr. Rajoelina Francis Blaise, said the visit to HASAL MFB was aimed at understanding its operational model and possibly using it as a guide in his country’s efforts to deepen financial inclusion in the grassroots.

    The facts finding mission, which lasted for about six hours, featured presentation by a team of HASAL Bank on financial inclusion strategy and the innovative technologies, including the Point of Sale (POS) and POC (Point Of Collection) terminals being deployed by the micro finance bank, to provide door-to-door cash mobilization and disbursement to both small and medium entrepreneurs and micro customers of the bank.

    In his remarks, the Managing Director of HASAL MFB, Mr. Rogers A.I. Nwoke, spoke on the Bank’s competitive edge in innovative product development and service delivery, adding that the deployment of technological tools has impacted positively on all areas of the bank’s operations, especially in meeting the expectations of its growing customers.

    He specifically listed the use of POC for effective cash collection by HASUSU Sales Executives and sustained deployment of POS terminals to serve the needs of the customers, amongst some of the innovations introduced by the bank to promote the use of debit cards for payment and other transactions by the customers.

    Nwoke explained that the huge investment on POC terminals and other service delivery platforms was informed by the need to reach customers in rural areas of the Federal Capital Territory, who without leaving their homes or shops now have access to financial services.

    He further demonstrated how HASUSU Sales Executives use POC to credit depositors account without the customers visiting the conventional banking hall.

    Reacting to the HASAL MFB Chief’s explanations on products and services delivery, the leader of the Madagascar delegate, Blaise, thanked HASAL MFB’s management for giving them the opportunity to understand the operations of the bank and its role in Financial Inclusion.

    Another member of the team and the Director of Statistics, National Coordinator of Microfinance Bank Madagascar, Rafiringa Soamialy, said that she is excited about the level of technological advancement the Nigerian MFB had made in financial inclusion drive to reach out to the grassroots and empower the poor and the vulnerable groups in the country.

    “I am very happy to be in Nigeria and to learn about POS and POC which we have similar technology in Madagascar but HASAL MFB technology is more advanced”, Soamialy said.

    It would be recalled that the Madagascar delegation’s visit to HASAL MFB was the third in the past 18 months by global MFB policy drivers in their efforts to learn from Nigeria how best to develop their countries’ MFBs.

    The Bank was visited by HRH then Princess Maxima of the Royal Kingdom of Netherlands for facts finding on Financial Inclusion during her visit to the Nigeria during the launching of the National Inclusion Strategy by the CBN in 2012.

    Also, officials of the Central Bank of Liberia had also visited the Bank for facts finding on financial inclusion, thereby making the HASAL Bank as the only MFB in the country to have the privilege of sharing its experiences and successes in financial inclusion in the country.

    HASAL MICROFINANCE BANK REWARDS CUSTOMERS FOR THEIR LOYALTY. … Construction Worker wins KIA picanto star prize

    HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited customers smiled home at the weekend with fantastic prizes won in the bank’s 5th Year Anniversary Award Promo raffle draw, with one of them, Isiaka olalekan Lukmon, a previously unbanked customer and a man that has never owned a car before in his life, wins the Kia Picanto star prize of three month old Promo which ended at the weekend in Abuja.

    The Awards Promo draw, which attracted hundreds of customers to the Garki, Abuja corporate headquarters of the MFB, was supervised by the Bank’s Managing Director, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, including independent professional observers, thereby making the exercise transparent and fair to all customers that participated in the ‘save and win’ promo competition.

    The Managing Director said the Awards Promo was in furtherance of the bank’s business philosophy of touching lives for good for its loyal customers with a view to rewarding customers who have supported its business in the last 5 years.

    He therefore urged the old customers to keep doing business with the bank in view of its demonstrated sense of corporate responsibility to impact their lives even as he asked potential ones to key into the bank’s ‘win-win’ business strategy which it has adopted over the years in order to add value to customers through products and services and contribute to the economic growth of the country.

    Expressing his joy for emerging the star prize winner during a chat with the media, Isiaka Lekan Lukmon who opened his first bank account with the HASAL @ 5 savings promo, thanked the bank for changing his life and generosity to give out prizes to their customers even though he has been banking with the bank for less than 2months, describing his win as an experience he will live to cherish forever.

    Lukmon said: “For me, to own my first car from a bank through this type of promo which some people believe is never real is a privilege and a demonstration that HASAL Bank is out to change people’s life. HASAL Bank is a great bank, and the funny thing is that it is through this Award Promo I started saving with the bank. I am more than grateful to the management. God bless HASAL MFB people for their generosity”

    Egbo Ikechukwu, another customer who won one of the five sewing machines of the promo, expressed his joy because this is the first time he has ever won anything in his life and quipped: ‘I cannot believe this”

    Other customers expressed their gratitude to the bank for their prizes which include, television sets, refrigerators, sewing machines, home theaters, hair dryers and other consolation prizes.

    HASAL Launches MICROFINANCE CLUB HOUSE

    HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited has launched a new Microfinance Club House, a new account which allows high profile individuals to save a minimum of N10 million, for onward lending to genuine SME entrepreneurs and others at a cheaper rate to empower the active poor and generally improve the lives of ordinary Nigerians in the grassroots.

    Briefing the media on the innovative account at the Bank’s 5th year Anniversary Cocktail Party in Abuja, the Managing Director, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the initiative was in furtherance of the Bank’s vision to impact positively on the poor and vulnerable groups in its areas of operations by pooling funds from the rich on mutually beneficial terms to provide improved access to credit at a cheaper rates to the needy in line with the nation’s financial inclusion strategy.

    Nwoke explained that if the rich in the society embraces the product by saving in the Bank, HASAL MFB would be better positioned in its current drives to create more channels to more customers in need of money to grow their businesses and by implication, help in curbing the menace of unemployment, poverty and other socio-economic deprivations being experienced by Nigerians in the grassroots.

    Meanwhile, the Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who was the Guest of Honour at the social forum, has stressed the need for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of saving as a strategic option of supporting MFBs in their efforts to improve lending to the active poor to eliminate poverty and ensure sustainable growth of the economy.

    The lawmaker, who described the lack of saving culture among Nigerians as one of the banes of national development initiatives, urged the people in the grassroots to patronize the MFBs as a way of forging a symbiotic partnership for wealth for wealth creation and broad-based, people-oriented economic growth in the country.

    Hon. Ihedioha said: “As a politician it is hard for us all to save money, any money that enters our hand we tend to spend it and that’s not the best way to live, we all should start saving money so that MFBs like HASAL MFB can easily lend to people and this account is the best way for us all to do just that.”

    In her remarks at the occasion, the Chairman HASAL MFB, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, spoke on her passion to facilitate the growth of young business men and women, adding that this was partly responsible why the Bank was created and driven by a corporate philosophy that targets the active poor in the country.

    She explained: “In HASAL Microfinance Bank is our vision to provide equal opportunities for every Nigerian that knocks on our door and assist them in the best possible way we can, and these are in accordance with the Bank’s vision to equip hard-working Nigerians attain their potential in business”.

    HASAL Microfinance Bank gives back to the society

    HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited, one of the leading micro finance institutions in the country, has rewarded scores of pupils who performed excellently in its 5th Anniversary Quiz Competition organized for primary schools in the grassroots at the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

    At the end of the keenly contested intellectual exercise in which pupils from seven primary schools participated in the final stage, three pupils were rewarded for coming tops with cash rewards while others carted away educational materials and other gifts worth over N250,000.

    The quiz competition, which attracted 50 pupils from the various primary schools that participated in the three categories, was concluded with Praise Omokide, of Royal Springs International Primary School Gwagwalada emerging as winner with N150, 000 cash prize.

    The second place position winner, Yusuf Moses from Gracefield Montessori Academy got N100, 000 cash reward while the third position winner, Agada Goodness of Excellence Academy School got N75, 000 cash prize, other top ten winner got N25, and 000 cash prize each.

    Scores of other pupils went home with gift items such as school bags, books and other school materials at the end of the exciting competition organized in furtherance of the bank's commitment to address the problem of high level of illiteracy in rural communities across the country.

    The quiz competition, which is the first to be organized by HASAL Bank, is a key component of the bank's Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programmes organized to encourage the young children to take their education seriously, promote reading culture among them and to inculcate in their sub-conscious minds that hard work comes with its rewards.

    Briefing the media on why the Board and management of the Bank decided to offer prize money, school bags, books and other school materials to the pupils, the Managing Director of HASAL Microfinance Bank, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the initiative was in furtherance of the Bank agenda to help children realize their educational dream.

    He further encouraged the pupils to take their education very seriously and also enlightened their parents, guardians and teachers on the essence of saving for their child’s future in HASANWA (HASAL NEW WORLD ACCOUNT) account, the bank’s product for young generations, which allows parents to save for their children.

    Nwoke explained: “We believe the opportunities for prizes and scholarships ought to be available to every child in Nigeria that performs well. By organizing this Quiz Competition, we aim to impact the lives of these children, their families and their school positively.

    "As Microfinance Bank, our vision is to provide equal opportunities for every child and assist parents who cannot afford to purchase school materials for their children. These are in accordance with the Bank’s vision to equip these pupils and teach them the benefits of education”, he added.

    Praise Omokide the first prize winner, commended the Bank for including education into their corporate social responsibility activities, adding that he is happy to have won this first position and the cash prize and "advised other children to always read their book”

    Also commending the Bank for extending their financial support towards education, a teacher from Royal Spring International School Gwagwalada, Mrs Stella James, said that the Quiz Competition was a step in the right direction for HASAL MFB to consider these pupils worthy of focus in its efforts to add value to its immediate operating environment.

    James noted that the financial aid, school bags and other prizes HASAL donated to the pupils will go a long way in lifting burdens off their parents' shoulders, adding that "we have to thank HASAL MFB for been so generous, I implore other MFBs to follow their footsteps”.

    HASAL @ 4 Setting The Pace In Microfinance Practice

    At the dawn of October 2nd, 2008 HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited began operation with her vision statement (now modified) “To create a unique organization focused at providing creative solution to the business problems of people at the bottom of the pyramid and so become the REFERENCE POINT for all microfinance business in Nigeria and indeed all other poor nations of the world” How those words proved true, when HASAL had the great honour to play host to HRH Princess Maxima of the kingdom of Netherlands during her visit to the country recently for the Launch of Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion Strategy tagged “Making Financial Inclusion a Reality in Nigeria”.

    The princess who was designated by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in 2009 as Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development, on this capacity visited HASAL for fact finding on financial inclusion. The financial expert amongst other functions plays a leading role in promoting best practices and policies that increase access to finance, advance consumer protection and enhance financial literacy. Little wonder, she spent maximum time in an interactive session with a cross section of HASAL‘s customers who told their success stories of financial inclusion with the bank (Please see photo news).

    The pace setter in Microfinance practice in Nigeria, HASAL was licensed to operate as a state MFB and had just seven (7) branches as at September 2009 (after one year of operation), with a deposit base of N1, 754,010 and loan portfolio of 320,994 and maintained an upward growth of branch network to 12, deposit base to 2,007,256 and loan portfolio to 471,778 in 2010 while this growth was sustained in 2011 to 680,981 in loan and 1,885463 customer base with about 19 branches scattered around the Federal Capital Territory. An impressive one indeed! You would say.

    Just at four, the professionally unique manner of doing microfinance business has indeed attracted the Honoray patron of the G20 Global partnership for Financial Inclusion Princess maxima to peer into HASAL for facts finding. What better way can best practice be recognized, than having an Honorary visit of such personage. It pays to be the best at what you do and thus be a reference point amidst numerous competitors. This status quo HASAL MFB has attained at just four.

    What else can we say? To our readers out there you’ve found your number one microfinance bank to reckon with, as an Investor, Customer, Regulator and other stake holders please welcome on board join the truly professional Microfinance Bank “HASAL MICROFINANCE BANK LIMITED” and enjoy the dividends of professionalism.

    HASAL MFB OFFERS N6M ASSET-FINANCING SUPPORT TO RICE FARMERS

    HASAL Microfinance Limited, one of the leading micro finance institutions at the vanguard of the financial inclusion strategy drive in the country, has provided about N6 million support to a Nasarawa State-based Integrated Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria as part of its corporate agenda to reach out to rural farmers in the country.

    The financial support is coming on the heels of the bank's recent restructuring exercise which led to the creation of a new Agriculture and Rural Banking Department, amongst other innovative moves, geared towards deepening its supports to the financially-excluded and under-served people in the rural communities.

    Unlike its past supports to similar SMEs and farmers' groups in the past, the new fund by the Bank is used to finance a multi functional 50HP 2WD Tractor with service kit, a 7*7 Ofset Disc Harrow, Bottom Disc Plough, Furrow Disc Ridger and 5 Ton Tipping Trailer, which is considered as one of the key assets the farmers require to boost their productivity.

    While handing over the tractor to the elated farmers in Abuja this week, the Managing Director/CEO HASAL MFB, Mr. Rogers Nwoke, said the gesture was in furtherance of the Bank's philosophy to touch customers' life for good by making them financially inclusive and improving their socio-economic well being at all times Nwoke, who recalled that similar supports had been extended to farmers, traders and other artisans groups by the Bank over the past two years, urged the farmers to take full advantage of the opportunity for provision of the Tractor to improve their production for bountiful harvests and by so doing contribute maximally to ongoing efforts by the government to make Nigeria sufficient in rice production and net exporter of food in the near future.

    Introduction of POS (Point Of Sale) terminals to both SME and Micro customers in which customers uses their Debit cards for purchase and payment for goods and services.

    He said: "We are very delighted to offer this type of support to this group of farmers who, based on our field assessment, is mobilising its members to improve rice production in Nassarawa State. This, to us, is a desirable step in view of the current efforts targeted at diversifying the nation's economic base and ensuring that Nigerians do not import food before they can feed themselves.

    "As we have always emphasised, our Bank is always ready to support genuine productive initiatives of the grassroots people by providing them micro credit and other operational assistance which will transform their lives by empowering them socio-economically. Today's event is another mileage being recorded by HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited in its drive for improved financial inclusion in our country", Nwoke added.

    In his remarks, the Secretary of the farmers' group, Mr. Emmanuel Ekpo, to whom the Tractor was handed on behalf of all the members, expressed the association's sense of appreciation to the management of the Bank and assured that they will do everything possible to ensure that the tractor is well utilised for the benefit of all members.

    Some of the other farmers who commended the Bank for the kind gesture include the association's Accountant, Mr. Temitope Saliu, the Welfare Officer, Mrs. Patience Oti and Mr. Mieseifa Dude.

    Meanwhile, the farmers have urged the Federal Government to provide all the necessary policy supports to microfinance banks in the country to enable them aid the farmers in such a way that would impact on their well-being and empower them more in their efforts to ensure food security in the country.

    HASAL MICROFINANCE BANK LAUNCHES PROJECT CREST 2ND FEBRUARY, 2013

    It was indeed a memorable day in the history of HASAL Microfinance Bank Limited as it ushered in the 2013 Financial Year and its 5th year anniversary with a landmark event with the Launch of HASAL “Project CREST”. At exactly 9:00am on Saturday February 2nd 2013, Staff of the Bank in their colourful HASAL branded T-shirts were seated, the stage was set for the project Launch. The occasion was declared opened with prayers said by the Group Head, Operations and Credit Risk Management Mrs. Joyce Rogers. What is project CREST? What is the significant of the project in the business of HASAL Microfinance Bank?

    Excellent Service delivery is the bedrock for customer satisfaction and an excellent service provider does not only earn the loyalty of its customers but have a competitive edge over its competitors and retains a large market share of its market. Operating in a market like ours dominated by quacks, where desperate operators are in a hurry to make money thereby sabotaging the industry, excellent service delivery remains an essential ingredient for success. HASAL Microfinance Bank has identified Excellent Service Delivery as the best ammunition in its arsenal to remain a Reference Point in the Nigeria Microfinance subsector.

    It is against this background, that the Bank launched the “HASAL PROJECT CREST” on Saturday 2nd February, 2013. Project CREST was basically derived from our desire; to build an excellent brand with a consistent customer service culture across board while being ranked the best in the Microfinance subsector, in Nigeria and beyond. The journey started on the 13th of November, 2010 after an Executive Management meeting in which it was resolved that a “Service Standard Committee” be set up with the aim of producing a HASAL Customer Service Standard as well as appoint a service marshal to monitor the delivery processes and feedback.

    On the 15th of November 2010, a six man committee was set up which geared into the task with full force; the first meeting was held on that same 15th of November and they agreed that the charter be named PROJECT CREST! After various brain storming sessions and executive scrutiny, the committee came up with the acceptable aims and objectives for the Charter, which are to:

    Develop a service culture focused at enhancing and providing consistent customer service experience across all channels and touch points. Establish service quality performance as a key element and contributor to business profitability, growth, and customer retention. Achieve a ranking and be acknowledged as the best service delivery MFB in Nigeria and beyond. What started like a mere committee in 2010 became a reality on 2nd February, 2013 with its official launching.

    In the words of the MD/CEO, Rare Virtue Consulting Limited Mrs. Ifejola Opara while delivering a lecture entitled Service Culture at the event, “if the quality is good, marketing is easier and less effort is expended in convincing prospects while customers are retained. The consultant emphasized the importance of staff internalizing the Bank’s Mission and Vision statement as this according her will help them deliver their service in an excellent and unique manner. A service person is a people person and the culture of service should be same across board. The quality of service at the head office (which is the seat of the Executive Management) should be same across all the HASAL’s branches, she said and this is the objective of project CREST.

    A six Man Service Marshal drawn from various Regional offices of the Bank were appointed. The Marshals are to drive compliance and enforce service excellence Bank wide and were charged to design and develop the barometer to measure service excellence which will be subjected to periodic review as rewards awaits staff for excellent service delivery and sanctions for non- excellent service delivery.

    The high point of the event was affirmation to the Bank’s Service Charter and sign off by all staff and the Executive Management. The Executive Management also affirmed to their Service Charter while and also at the departmental levels led by their departmental and group heads.

    In his closing remarks the Group Head, Business Development and Marketing Mr. Dagogo E. Iyeimo, said that “The Bank is trying, through Project CREST to create a path in the business of Microfinance Bank and implored all to reflect the Spirit the day “Project CREST”. The pillars of competition are thinning-out; the essence of Project CREST is to make a difference in our business. It is not a difficult one to accomplish; it’s just to believe it, he said.

    There is no gainsaying that HASAL is repositioning itself to better serve its customer and actually create wealth for its customers, employees and shareholders as it is determined to retain its position as the Lion of the MFB jungle in Nigeria and a reference point to all other nations of the world.

    To our existing and prospective customers, HASAL is poised to deliver to you excellent service, one that is unparalleled. So we say, come Bank with us at HASAL Microfinance Bank in all our branches/outreach centers and enjoy excellent service!

    Enhancing Financial Innovation and Access (EFInA)

    Enhancing Financial Innovation & Access published a Request for Proposals in April, 2011 focused on supporting new ideas and approaches to expanding access to “formal savings”, product and services designed for the unbanked and under banked population in Nigeria, especially women.

    The bank applied for its project tagged “Promoting Branchless Banking Through Hasusu Savings Product”.

    Project Description Summary

    HASAL MFB recognized that one of the key challenges of the poor is accumulating capital. The existing Hasusu account is a daily savings contribution account with savings and loan features. It aims to provide an easy and convenient channel for capital accumulation while providing higher interest rates as well as access to credit.

    The product is targeted at the unbanked and under-banked population within the Abuja area with a special focus on traders.

    To increase customer reach especially to rural areas, HASAL MFB has completed a pilot and launched its branchless banking offering using EMV compliant Interswitch interoperable debit cards and POC devices using field agents (contract staff). This branchless banking service aims to demonstrate how low-cost distribution channels that use technology can effectively expand the financial services frontier. It provides the low income rural population with a mechanism for saving through a daily collection process similar to the traditional savings association model, leveraging non-bank agents using POC devices.

    The project aligned with EFInA’s objective which includes:

  • The delivery of financial services outside conventional bank branches
  • The development of effective savings products targeted at lower income segments which addresses their preference for convenience, flexibility and cost effective banking, and encourages them to save through formal mechanisms
  • Key Deliverables from the Project:

  • Grow Hasusu Customer Base to 106,000
  • Increase our Agents to 150
  • Cover 5 Area Councils of the FCT
  • Mobilize N1.12bn in deposits of which N675,012,097 is mobilized via the POC device
  • Issue N675,012,097 in Hasusu Loans
  • Leverage on the Mobile Money Technology
  • The total cost of the Project was $1,000,000 USD. The bank applied for a grant from EFInA and was successful. A grant of $500,000 USD was given to the bank with set targets and objectives. The grant was for four (4) key specific areas as agreed with EFInA. The time span for the project is 24months; the project commenced in January 2012.