Expedited Collaboration Crucial For Boosting Cross-border Trade Financing – Stanbic’s Eric Tsiri

Head of Enterprise Banking at Stanbic Bank Ghana, Eric Tsiri, has called for faster collaboration and partnerships among fintechs and financial institutions in providing financing for SMEs to aid cross border training.

Mr. Tsiri said this when he took his turn on a panel discussion at the 3i Africa Summit held at the Accra International Conference Center, Accra.

Speaking on ‘Enhancing SMEs for cross border trade: The role of strategic partnerships in driving innovation and reducing costs and risks for banks,’ Eric Tsiri noted that “It is common knowledge that SMEs remain the backbone of African economies, providing a huge percentage of employment and contributing significantly to GDPs and conversations like this help bring the important stakeholders around the table to deliberate on the key interventions that are critical to African economies. One of the most critical elements we need to consider in this conversation is financing.”

“Time is not our best friend in making this work if we want our SMEs to compete in the global marketplace. What it will take, I believe, is stronger and faster collaborations among fintechs, banks and regulators. We can develop a sector specific approach leveraging data from fintechs to build capacities of SMEs and finance them to take advantage of the large global market.

If we build expertise in specific sectors, then we can use the experience to cover other sectors. By so doing, we find critical solutions for SMEs one sector at a time, because indeed, time is not our best friend,” he insisted. 

Eric Tsiri further elaborated what Stanbic Bank is doing to help scale the capacities of Ghanaian SMEs to evolve. He said “At Stanbic Bank we have various interventions that we have put in place to support and finance SMEs and at the base of it, is building the capacity of SMEs to be able to access the financing options that we provide.

Also, through our Stanbic incubator, we continue to have capacity building interventions, particularly in the areas good book keeping practices and corporate governance. Through our trans regional desk, we help SMEs access various markets across the world. But more importantly, we are partnering fintechs to curate lending products using data sources, other than what we have traditionally.” 

The 3i Africa Summit was put together by the Bank of Ghana (BoG), Development Bank Ghana (DBG) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) through its subsidiary, Elevandi.

The 3-day event brought together key players in the financial, investment, policy-regulatory and the digital technology ecosystem to deliberate on conversations and foster strategic alliances to nurture the flourishing African digital economy and fintech sector. The summit was also held to support the development of creative solutions specifically made to handle Africa's unique problems in order for the continent to take advantage of its wealth of prospects.