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Loans: Top banks fight for clients’ attention ahead of reopening of schools

By Davis Mugabi

Ahead of the reopening of schools for Term I of the 2024 academic year, banks are positioning themselves as the only go-to financial institutions. Some schools already opened. Other are set to reopen next Monday, February 5, 2024.

However, on Monday, January 29, 2024 alone, three banks launched new loan products.

Stanbic Bank launched Oli Sorted, while dfcu Bank came up with Ggwa mu bintu. Housing Finance Bank on the other hand coined ‘Fuuka Don’. All these are new loan products.

Israel Arinaitwe, the Head of Personal Banking at Stanbic Bank said after the last quarter of the year which is characterized by high-spending, individuals and businesses need cash in the first quarter to finance their plans for the year.

“We acknowledge that the new academic year is opening, and we know what that means for parents, schools, and businesses linked to the education ecosystem and in a market where interest rates can be as high as 25 percent, Stanbic is offering Ugandans the opportunity to borrow up to UGX 200 million at as low as 16 percent per annum or 1.3 per month, at no arrangement fees,” said Israel.

 ‘Oli Sorted’ for businesses

Aaron Akampa, the Head of Enterprise Banking at Stanbic Bank said, “School owners can apply to access for up to UGX 3 billion for a 5-year school development loan, or UGX 500 million under the Unsecured Bridge Financing Solution to assist them to cope with expenses on basic supplies and utilities needed to start the new term.”

Akampa added that, knowing how time is an important factor in business, the bank has enhanced its credit processing efficiency enabling applicants to access credit within 24 hours.

“We are also saying, small and medium enterprise (SME) owners can apply for SME Business Loans of up to UGX 200 million for six months with interest rates starting at 20% p.a. under the Stanbic Enterprise category, accessible within 48 hours after success application,” he said.

Arinaitwe added that, “to address gender parity concerns that often affect equitable access to finance and opportunities for women, Oli Sorted campaign will enable women-owned businesses and schools to borrow at a special interest rate of 15.5%.

As part of the “Ggwa Mu Bintu” campaign, dfcu Bank has unveiled a range of loan options tailored to meet the diverse needs of its customers as they start the new year.

In anticipation of the upcoming first term of the school year, theBank is introducing the dfcu School Bridge Loan to support educational institutions with their first term operational costs. This unsecured short-term loan offers schools a boost of up to UGX 500, 000, 000/- with competitive interest rates. Notably, dfcu Bank has streamlined the loan approval process, to ensure a quick 48-hour turnaround time from application to disbursement. This initiative aims to alleviate financial burdens for schools, enabling them to focus on providing quality education to students.

Additionally, dfcu Bank is offering Unsecured Personal Loans to individuals in pursuit of their goals and aspirations. These loans are designed to ease the transition from the festive season that involves a lot of spending.

The Bank also offers the dfcu Mobi Loan service through dfcu QuickBanking, providing customers with convenient access to instant financing. With the dfcu MobilLoan, customers can access up to 2 million Uganda Shillings within 5 minutes, subject to pre-qualification. In particular, this initiative will enable parents to easily access finances for school fees and purchase of scholastic materials. As an added incentive, theBank is running a promotion where parents who use dfcu’s range of channels including SchoolPay and dfcu QuickBanking to make school fees payments stand a chance to win a cashback prize of UGX 500,000/-.

Mr. Bryan Katamba, the sector head of Education and Health at dfcu Bank, noted the Bank’s commitment to empowering Ugandans through a range of financial solutions. “We are dedicated to transforming lives and businesses in Uganda by providing loan products that meet the evolving needs of our customers. The “Ggwa Mu Bintu” campaign reflects our commitment to empowering the country’s education sector, right from the parents/ guardians to the school owners. We’re offering an assortment of solutions which will ensure that everyone along the education sector value chain is anchored, both for the short and long-term. 

With the launch of the “Ggwa Mu Bintu” campaign, dfcu Bank reaffirms its position as a trusted financial partner, dedicated to the transformation of lives and businesses across Uganda.

In a re-affirmation of its commitment to enabling financial independence and sustainable home ownership, Housing Finance Bank launched the ‘Fuuka Don’ salary loan campaign. The initiative aims to alleviate financial pressures and empower customers to achieve their financial goals and aspirations for 2024.

The campaign was officially unveiled today by the Housing Finance Bank leadership, led by Michael Mugabi, Managing Director, and Peace K. Ayebazibwe, Executive Director, during a media breakfast at the Bank’s Head Office in Kololo.

The ‘Fuuka Don’ 120-day campaign offers customers the opportunity to access unsecured salary loans of up to UGX 400 million within an expedited 48-hour processing time. Additionally, customers can benefit from flexible repayment periods of up to 84 months, along with zero-fees loan buyouts and interest rates for as low as 17% per annum.

Mr. Michael K. Mugabi, Managing Director of Housing Finance Bank, expressed enthusiasm about the campaign, stating, “Our overarching objective is to catalyze a positive transformation in the lives of our valued customers by consistently delivering unparalleled financial solutions. With Fuuka Don, we are not merely offering financing but providing a gateway to a realm of possibilities that transcends current market offerings. Whether it’s realizing the dream of building a home, acquiring assets, or advancing one’s education, Fuuka Don is a cornerstone on our customers’ path to success.”

Mr. John B. Kaweesi the Head of Mortgage and Consumer Banking at Housing Finance Bank, emphasized the inclusivity of the salary loan solution, stating, “At Housing Finance Bank, we deeply understand the pivotal role financial support plays in turning aspirations into reality. The ‘Fuuka Don’ campaign exemplifies our unwavering commitment to empowering both our existing and new customers on their journey to achieving personal and financial milestones in 2024. With just your employment contract, you can embark on a seamless financial journey, making strides towards those cherished goals.”

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