FNB offers additional help to assist SMEs with alternative funding
DURBAN - FNB has committed to helping small businesses with alternative funding support, critical business support resources, links to various government resources and private funding initiatives.
the bank has launched a portal under the “Covid-19 – For My Business” menu on the FNB App or Online Banking, where SME customers in need of help can register their requests for assistance. This will enable FNB to obtain information and present potentially relevant relief solutions.
"The first phase of alternative funding that we are excited to make available to SME customers via the portal is from the South African Future Trust (SAFT), a Public Benefit Organisation established by Nicky and Jonathan Oppenheimer to extend financial assistance to employees of South African SMMEs who are at risk of losing their jobs or will suffer a loss of income because of Covid-19," said Jesse Weinberg, Head of the SME Customer Segment at FNB.
FNB has received a range of queries from SME customers on various topics from SMEs, from assisting them with cashflow relief on their existing credit and merchant services facilities with the bank, to general requests such as resources and guidance on obtaining alternative funding support for their businesses.
According to Weinberg, requests registered by SMEs through the portal will enable the bank to rapidly assess the situation and requests of these businesses to determine possible financial and non-financial assistance that could help them.
FNB SMEs can register their interest to apply for the South African Future Trust (SAFT) funding by completing the SME assessment found under the “Covid-19 – For My Business” menu on the FNB App or FNB Online Banking.
SMEs who meet the following criteria could be eligible for the funding as determined by SAFT:
1. The business has an annual turnover below R25 million
2. The business can clearly demonstrate the impact of Covid-19 on their operations; the business must have been in good financial health prior to 1 March 2020.
3. The business must have been trading for at least 24 months
4. Confirmation of permanent employment status of employee
5. The business must have its main bank account with FNB and be in good standing with the bank; demonstrated sound banking behaviour maintained a good credit history
FNB Connect recently announced it would be reducing data prices by up to 55 percent, in April 2020 and will double customers’ data on their Lifestyle plans without any price increase.
Customers will also be getting 1GB of free data during the national lockdown, with a validity period of 30 days. This lockdown data allocation is in addition to the Free Connect allocations that customers with qualifying transactional accounts receive monthly.
Shadrack Palmer product head at FNB Connect said: "In our efforts to provide our customers with more value for their money, we’ve reduced our mobile data prices and doubled the data bundles on most of our Lifestyle plans, to give our customers more reason to connect anywhere and anytime. This is needed now more than even, as South Africans are observing the 21-day national lockdown, with many strapped for cash during these challenging times."