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BNB to push SMEs, commercial customers

Marlon Madden

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The Barbados National Bank (BNB) has announced plans to roll out a special programme geared to assisting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) on the island.
Though not providing details, BNB’s managing director and chief executive officer Derwin Howell said: “Looking down the road we will soon introduce our SME toolkit, an online resource area that will provide support to our commercial customers in a number of diverse areas, such as business planning, market research and training.
“Additionally, we will also soon bring to the market our corporate Internet banking product.”
The announcement was made during the BNB and Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business relaunch of the bank’s Commercial Customer Business Programme on Tuesday at the Island Inn Hotel.
Howell told the room of businesspeople that over the years the bank had embarked on a series of initiatives to equip its commercial customers with the tools and skills necessary to survive and thrive through the current recessionary period and beyond.
Of the Commercial Customer Business Programme, Howell said: “We see this as an investment in you, our customers, and as the old adage goes, we are prepared to put our money where our mouth is.
“We understand, appreciate and support the role that small and medium-sized enterprises play in the economic development of our nation.”
The Commercial Customer Business Programme was first introduced five years ago at Republic Bank, the parent company of BNB. Howell said the aim of the programme was “to make it better and more relevant” for small and medium-sized enterprises to do business in the region.
Close to 300 customers benefited from the programme over the last two years.