Scotia sets SME loan at 9.5 interest

BY TERRON DEWAR Business reporter dewart@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, October 10, 2014

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SCOTIABANK has revealed an interest rate of 9.5 per cent per annum for its new $500-million small and medium enterprises (SMEs) loan fund.


The fund, which was opened last month, will enable borrowers to access up to $15 million secured, and $2 million unsecured, with a maximum of five years to repay.


When the fund was launched in August, Scotiabank Jamaica President and CEO Jacqueline Sharp told the Jamaica Observer that while the bank was still figuring out how low to set the rate, it was expected to be less than the 12 to 14 per cent typically offered on loans.


The credit facility also makes provision for borrowers to access unsecured loans at an annual interest rate of 11.5 per cent.


"This loan is a part of the bank's commitment to address the lack of accessible funding for SMEs," said Debra Lopez-Spence, vice-president, Small and Medium Enterprises at Scotiabank.


SMEs that specialise in manufacturing, agro-processing, tourism and the creative industries are earmarked as the beneficiaries of the facility, which was launched in celebration of Scotiabank's 125th anniversary in Jamaica.


In order to qualify for the loans, businesses must earn no more than US$4 million in revenue annually and require capital to:


* acquire new and used equipment;


* re-engineer their production process;


* re-tool their businesses;


* install alternative energy solutions; and


* modernise their operations.


Borrowers who wish to access the fund must submit their applications to the bank no later than March 31, 2015.


The bank will close the fund once the $500-million has been committed.


Scotiabank provides financial services for 50 per cent of Jamaicans and has over $404 billion under management.


The bank employs just over 2,000 people and has 38 branches islandwide.








SHAPRE... had said the rate would be less than the 12 to 14 per cent typically offered on loans






Scotiabank Jamaica launched the SME loan fund in celebration of its 125th anniversary in Jamaica.



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