Setting up a winning small business banking infrastructure for your bank

Small businesses are the veins and arteries of the economy. Millions of imaginative, hardworking and self-motivated individuals respond creatively to the demands of the economy in the respective countries theycome from.

The financial services industry’s ability to serve the small business world is crucial to ensuring the continued success of any economy. But serving the community requires considerable and specific skills, as well as an instinct for this business. It also requires an understanding of how technology and innovation can be used to respond to the demands of a fierce and competitive market.

Where banks are failing small businesses today, new forms of financing support are coming in to take the place of traditional players. More important than selling credit, banks have to learn how to sell a sense of community and mutual support.

Leading financial institution sacross the world are in the process of redesigning their ability to support the development of small businesses in their respective countries. A successful small business banking infrastructure can make a very big difference. The needs of small businesses in developing countries are different from those in the developed ones. The size of these businesses in developing countries tends to be smaller but more complex, and the range of industries represented is wider. The legal infrastructure and the financial information available on small businesses may also be more rudimentary.

This training is a premier event designed to address all of the above areas of concerns, specifically designed for banks and other financial service providers that are serious about succeeding with this customer base.

Delegates attending this two-day workshop will gain complimentary access to the Future of Finance West Africa 2019 conference– Bringing together key decision makers from financial institutions and new market players to discuss the most current trends from the industry in West Africa.

Workshop Trainer :


Andrew McRobert

International Credit & Risk Management Specialist
Development Banking Consultant.

For more than 20 years, Andrew has been creating and presenting seminars in the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and African markets. He has also undertaken development banking assignments for organisations including CDC, AFDB, ADB, IFC, OFID and DBSA (South Africa). He has written credit manuals, upgraded credit processes, undertaken SME development, privatisation and problem loan management assignments in a wide range of countries and is regarded as a leading expert in problem loan management in emerging markets. His experience in these fields has been gained by working in more than 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific and MENA regions, and across Africa.He is also the author of three professional texts and numerous articles in professional journals.

Workshop Day 1

Wednesday, 24 April 2019




Welcome, introductions and outlining of key understandings about the industry

    A discussion of how well banks are organised to build and scale small business banking capability, on the sales as well as risk and operational fronts. We will take a view of the difficulties in scaling the support for growing small businesses, with a view of leading them to a public offering.
  • Overview of financial risk and business risk
  • Summary of the key issues that the banker should focus on when lending to SMEs
  • Identifying and implementing the appropriate strategy for establishing a successful SME banking business
  • Deciding on the criteria for client selection – what are the characteristics of businesses that you want to deal with?
  • Do SMEs have different credit profiles to larger corporates?
  • The 5 Cs of credit and their application to SMEs


Tea/Coffee break


Understanding the stages of business life and evaluating the associated risk in the operating cycle

    To effectively market to SMEs one needs to understand where the business is in its life cycle. The session will discuss different types of business risks based upon the stage of operating cycle a business is at.
  • Competition risk – how can an SME establish & maintain a sustainable competitive strategy and how can a bank evaluate this strategy?
  • Business risk – the nature and viability of business operations and assets
  • Management risk – management is the key to identifying and minimising all risks in a business. Are they capable and experienced?


Product innovation & using the right marketing strategies

    We will examine a few recent product innovation and marketing initiatives for small businesses community.
  • Linking your understanding of SME characteristics to SME credit products
  • Asset based finance – key principles
  • Assessing business plans & visiting the customer’s premises
  • Environment & lending
  • Loan products - how do loan products complement each other in support of SME needs
  • Non-loan products - what else can banks offer to strengthen SMEs’ competitive positions, market share, sales and earnings?
  • Innovation - how can banks partner and invest to provide “non-core” services that allow for cross-selling and strengthened relationships?
  • Customer relationships - what are the merits of relationship banking vs. transactional banking?
  • Marketing to SMEs - doing proper customer segmentation, role which branch managers can play in SME customer acquisition




Onboarding of SME clients

  • Assessing an applicant’s real needs (as opposed to what they ask for)
  • Developing relationships with associations and other conduits for sustainable SME business
  • Marketing approaches that work, and approaches that don’t work
  • Turning prospects into bankable propositions
  • Negotiating the right deal that suits the bank and suits the client


Tea/Coffee break


Embracing financial technology innovation in serving small business customers

In this session, we will examine the rise of financial technology companies and the availability of a whole range of blockchain based solutions for small businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on. Which of these can banks do well to plug into? We will also look at how banks can integrate source information from the small business customers using these channels.

  • Fintech: is this the way forward for SMEs? What is happening already?
  • How lenders have been leveraging blockchain technology to cater their SME clients?
  • Can SME bankers learn anything from retail banking?


Feedback and Concluding Remarks

*Please note that this is a working agenda and topics and speakers are subject to change.

For more details, please contact:
Anna Farell Roca
Programme Manager
Tel: (+86) 10 58694642